Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The "Big Brain" Speculations

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
-Edgar Allan Poe

"In my head I know I'm me; no one else in here to see. But what if my head is just in my head, and everything else, living or dead, is just a dream that we all share? Could you believe or even care, that we're all one, and you are me and we're also all that we can see? Could you believe it, just a bit, that it's all in the head, but the head is it?"
-Saint Brian the Godless

"What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists?
In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet."
-Woody Allen


“The Big Brain”

Part 1: The Simplest Explanation for Everything:

What would be the simplest explanation for this universe that would account for the maximum number of observations that we've made of it? I used to ask myself this all the time. I felt strongly that the truth of it couldn't be something that we'd thought of before, since all of those theories have huge holes in them, even science’s theories in a way, though science is the best single way to look at the material world of all so far. But still science sees infinities in time and distance, and quantum paradoxes galore, along with things like the wave-particle duality and entanglement, which are hard to explain. So I thought about it obsessively for years and studied a lot of different sources, and this is what I finally came to think about our universe.

To me it seems that its all a vast mind, or very similar to one. A “Big Brain” with no body required. Or if you prefer, a kind of dream, only not like a “normal” sleeping dream. Now I know that's a hard thing for a Christian, or most anybody, to ever believe. But give me a chance to explain. If you’re unfamiliar with this sort of concept it will certainly appear eminently dismissible, but please bear with me.

Imagine it as if we're all complex thought patterns in a vast mind of some sort. We think of ourselves as matter, and the universe as matter and energy and space and time, but if it were all more like a mind, it negates the problems of the infinite. The universe would be as large as we think it is, and as old as we think it is... The more we looked, the more we'd find, but in a mind this is all interplay of consciousness and not the real traversing of space, so infinity is not a problem... We feel as solid matter and a rock feels hard and heavy, but they're consciousness or thoughts too, but since *we* are as well, the rock feels heavy and we feel solid to ourselves. As we've developed over the years we've formed this vast mind by our subconscious expectations of it, since it *is* us, and all other things as well. Thus it conforms to our expectations of it, follows logical rules, etc. We are individuals, yes, but only at the conscious and near-conscious levels. At the deep subconscious level we all share the same identity, as does everything else, since we're all made of the one thing, mind, in a world of the same. So, the person looking out of your eyes and calling yourself "me" is, at the deepest level, *identical* with the person that looks out of *my* eyes and says the same. God, or the universe, is One, and we're all a part of it, connected at every point. There's only *one* "sense-of-identity" in the universe. That's what that means. We just all have it and each of us thinks it is unique to us as individuals, but it's not. Now if in this vast mind or “dream” you manage to convince yourself that it's all due to an anthropomorphic God up in some nebulous heaven, this reality/mind will accommodate you and give you "signs" that you're on the right track, *even if you are not!* It will give you exactly what you expect it to in your deep subconscious.

(Or perhaps better to say, “our” deep subconscious...)

So this "dream" can be rather deceptive.

If I meditate strongly enough, I get the same types of signs, and I'm not a believer in any God whatsoever.. Strange coincidences, synchronicities, and actual events taking place that related to my meditation... Even at times, wish-fulfillment... You can produce this with prayers, if you *really* believe deeply. It won't matter that what you really believe in isn't true, either. You can pray to a big Shoe in the sky, and if you have enough belief, real-world phenomena can and will occur that seem to be an answer to your "prayers" with no God needed other than this universe, which in it's entirety, can be called God but more accurately is just the mind that we all call home. It's not a human mind, but it's composed of all human and non-human minds and all other things as well.

This seems simple enough to at least visualize if you have an imagination. Now tell me why it can't be true. You can't. Much like God, there’s no way to prove it wrong. However unlike God, there are actual scientific research results that point to it *possibly* being true, that seem to at least indicate that it’s not as unlikely as it seems on the surface. And it explains everything in the world. Not one thing left out. It's the only theory that can even come close to doing that. All scientific problems, the mind-body problem, the placebo effect, miracles, faith-healings, synchronicities, deja-vu, "signs," ESP, clairvoyance, all psychic phenomena including hauntings, and even your faith in your God.

It can’t be proven yet, but it looks like it might be provable in the near future, if it’s true, of course. The beginnings of proof are already there. Look at the quantum realm, with all its strangeness and problems, which vanish if we assume that the universe is all consciousness. But as of right now, it can’t be proven. Not yet. Neither can your God, or anyone else’s, but since it explains not only your God but all others, and science, and scientific fallacies and paradoxes, and indeed all unsolved “mysteries,” and actually even has hopes of being proven in time by science, it’s far superior to any other faith or religion. And it’s simple, when you understand it. By Occam’s Razor, it is most likely to be the correct theory, if you detach yourself from your habitual view of reality and just think of the probabilities from an un-reality-biased perspective.

For me, I was the agnostic almost-atheist that loved science and the scientific method, was completely skeptical of anything that even smacked of the paranormal, then at about age 36 started to get 'signs' or more accurately perhaps jungian type synchronicities in my day-to-day life, synchronicities that I soon realized always related to thoughts expressed when I was in an emotionally excited state, such as when I was joking around with friends. Oh, and since the friends involved saw them too and thought that they were creepy, I know that it wasn't just a delusion. All of this worldview of mine that I have expressed above came about in my mind as a *result* of my having these experiences and then investigating them with various thought experiments as my tools, all subjective of course, but compelling nonetheless. Very compelling indeed.

Part 2: The Design and the Designer:

We're the designer. All of us, together, designed this place, by our very attempts to observe and understand it, from time immemorial. We created the dream-reality within which we now find ourselves. It's not solid, dead matter and energy like we think it is; it's all just consciousness. All that exists is consciousness, a vast sea of consciousness in which we are patterns of consciousness within the larger whole.

The world's far from perfect because the designers are far from perfect.

There's no plan, other than seeking for it to make sense. That's why it makes sense. Because we need it to. That's why it looks designed. And the closer we look at reality, the finer detail we provide for us to see. The more powerful our telescopes become, the larger the universe gets. It's all in our expectations and we fix it in place with our logic and science.

That's where creation happens. In our observations and expectations. In our minds. It's all in our minds, but our minds are all one at the deepest level anyhow, so it all agrees. It has to. We're all one.

I know, I need to take my meds, etc... except that, it is not as crazy as it sounds.

What is this universe, if indeed God does not exist in an anthropomorphic sense and there is no personified creator, and if science has only part of the answer? I mean, weird things sometimes seem to happen that nothing can really explain. Psychic events. Healing through prayer. ESP. Ghosts. Out-of-body experiences. Sightings of the Blessed Mother. Or the devil. Stigmata. Personal "miracles" and occasional contacts with divinity or consciousness or spirit or SOMETHING that leaves us confused or exultant or suicidal.

What is this place? What is the most logical conclusion, when even science seems suspect, at least in explaining some phenomena?

I think that they most likely answer to that it that the entire universe is made of consciousness and not matter as we think of it. Like a vast mind of some kind. Or like a dream, if you will. Not a normal dream, but similar. More realistic, of course, for one thing. More consistent. More painful. More pleasurable.

But a "dream" in whose head? Who is dreaming it?

The only possible answer to that is that we are! In fact, it's a dream without a specific dreamer required, since to think one is required is missing the point of it *all* being a dream, including us. We *all* dream it together. We are the dreamer and the dream. It’s all “One.”

We are “reality-biased” knowing nothing else other than this “consensual” reality/dream, so we “naturally assume” that a body is necessary for a brain, and that a brain is necessary for a mind, because that seems to be how it works here in our reality, but if our reality is a mind or a dream and not a place, then the rest becomes superfluous.

We dream that we are bodies, and so of course we are bodies in our dream.

And since we're the most advanced life form participating in this particular dream, we're the best of the dreamers, the most able to construct a complicated dream like this, one that seems so “tailored” to us. No God required. We did it; as we looked at it, looked *for* it, it all became real, because that’s how reality works. We looked for something, and we dreamt it up as we looked, just in time to see it and think that we had nothing to do with it. The closer we looked, the finer the detail that we created. The farther away in space that our telescopes can see the more of the dream becomes real, the larger the universe becomes. We find new stars, but were they there before we had the telescope to look? What I’m saying is, incredibly enough, perhaps not.

And it's easy to see why some people think that God is real and claim to receive signs and communications to that effect, since if they believe it hard enough, reality will give them false evidence of it being true due to their preoccupation with the subject warping their vision of reality.


Another way of thinking about the so-called "Big Brain" is to think of ourselves as dreamers by nature, pure and simple, nothing else to us really but that.

I read somewhere the Buddhists have this thing they call "Maya." It's a word that sort-of means the reality that we perceive that is a representation of what is real. The connotation that I got out of it is that all reality is a symbolic illusion, a story if you will. Or a dream; but not like sleeping dreams.

Perhaps we all are dreamer-beings by nature, and we all get to share in one dream and have as many others as we want to for ourselves. We have many dreams but we only have one common "interface" dream that we've all agreed upon is real. In the dream in which we all share and which we all agree is not a dream because it is not like our other dreams, rules have sprung up, because different dreamers had to reconcile and "average out" in order for there to be a consensus on "reality." So what we think of as reality is an illusion, another kind of a dream, but it is the only thing we've got, the only reality that we've ever had, and so we might as well think of it as real. It's as real as anything ever gets.

Oh, and one really important thing about Maya that I remember. The Buddhists have a saying about it.

"Maya seeks to deceive..."

I take from it to mean that since one's expectations can actually to an extent shape the dream as long as no serious conflicts arise, if one allows their expectations to dominate their thought, their expectations will be mirrored by Maya to some visible extent and thought to be proof of truth. Verification. So the religious man has the religious vision, but the vision was provided by Maya and not God, just giving the man what he's obsessed by... I've never expected the answer to the ultimate question to be the Christian God, not since I was a child. It became actually a silly concept in my mind. So Maya gave me a nice, generic, nonsectarian paradigm shift. If it is indeed for the better, then it will be growth. I have hopes. And even some pretty good subjective evidence.

(The only kind possible for something like this)


  1. So.. where're the aliens at then Brian?

    Where're the pixies and ogres and unicorns and such, Brian?

    We dreamed them, didn't we?

    Where's my flying car and my robot servants at?

    Where's my 'five year mission of goodwill' across the Universe?

    I want to know where my super-powers are!

    Shit, Brian, I'd settle for one lousy water-into-wine spell!

  2. Pboy, I'll answer as if I totally believe what I just posted instead of just loving to theorize about it and hoping that it is true...

    So.. where're the aliens at then Brian?
    -When we can accept the idea of aliens as real, and if we are thinking about them and desiring to meet them at that time, perhaps they will appear. We're not even close yet. And even when they do appear, they will be as we expected them to be. Whatever that is.

    Where're the pixies and ogres and unicorns and such, Brian?
    -Not likely that they'll ever appear now, since they're so ridiculous in the "group mind."

    We dreamed them, didn't we?
    -And we still are. But we think them silly. So no chance of a manifestation that people would believe.

    Where's my flying car and my robot servants at?
    -Do your part. Keep thinking about them as a real possibility and if enough other people do so as well perhaps we'll see those too. Don't forget just how much science fiction has already come true. When we can believe that we will have them, we will have them.

    Where's my 'five year mission of goodwill' across the Universe?
    -Heck, even that may yet happen. I just read about how the surgeons of the future will have to learn how to *weld* flesh instead of how to *stitch* it, since the next wave of wound closure technology is to use a laser in conjunction with a chemical applied on the skin at the wound site instead of sutures. It is now possible to weld a wound shut a la "Logan's Run." Or as Bones would say, "No more stone knives and bearskins."

    I want to know where my super-powers are!
    -The rest of the consciousnesses in this "dream" refuse to believe that you have them. And for some reason you can't seem to muster enough belief in them yourself to overcome that. What's the big deal? All you have to do is to impose your personal will upon the cumulative personal will of the rest of humanity...

    Shit, Brian, I'd settle for one lousy water-into-wine spell!
    -I'd prefer a "water-into-vodka and lawn-into-cannabis" spell, but I hear ya.

    Heh heh. This is fun.

  3. You know, I present these speculations with an attitude of disbelief myself. I mean, they do seem ridiculous.

    The thing is, when you look at them in detail and try to spot just what is so ridiculous about them specifically, well, you just can't point to it. They make total sense and even "common" sense the more that you look at them, as long as you can sucessfully remove your "reality bias" temporarily in order to examine them in the proper, neutral light.

  4. Where's my flying car and my robot servants at?
    You don't have a Roomba yet? Why is that my problem?

  5. Okay, let's try this from 'the other side'.

    Why are we such total 'shits' to each other?

    Why do we lie to each other and to ourselves all the time?

    What's the point of making a perfectly reasonable 'replica' of electro-magnetic reality with 'presumably' electro-magnetic streaming consciousnesses that 'seems' to explain pseudo-scientific stuff like ESP and synchronicity?

    Seems like with our penchant to hurt each other and ourselves with our superstitions that this would be some kind of 'test', which 'rolls back down' to being RATHER religious, don't you think?

    What would this strange test(of ourselves) be 'FOR'?

  6. Hmmm...

    Roomba, flying car and robot servants.. Roomba, flying car and robot servants.. hmmm

  7. Why are we such total 'shits' to each other?
    Because of ignorance. We do not yet realize that we're all one. The seperation breeds suspicion, then hatred, then well, you know the rest. Since whatever we believe tends to find affirmation in our realities, those who hate receive affirmation from the universe that their hatred is good and righteous, because they themsleves believe that it is. Those that they hate appear more and more worthy of the hatred, more and more loathsome, and so the hatred gets stronger... A vicious cycle.

    The root of all human suffering is the nature of *maya.* *Maya," or the illusion of reality that is all we have to judge it by, famously "seeks to deceive." This is not to say that maya has a consciousness of its own, but that maya responds to our human natures, our dark sides, our suspicions, our fears, more often than our hopes and dreams, because these things are stronger than our hopes and dreams are in our minds.

  8. .. and the 'what's the point?' thingy..

  9. Plus, when I came upon this viewpoint I wasn't looking for a way to explain away the paranormal. Far from it. I was a properly skeptical adherent of science, after all. So I dismissed the paranormal as mere human foibles, as you no doubt do now. But when I "got there" I realized that this new viewpoint even explained the so-called paranormal as well, or at least provided a framework wherein we can "explain away" the minority of cases that we cannot "explain away" now.

    Gravy, as it were.

  10. What's the point of making a perfectly reasonable 'replica' of electro-magnetic reality with 'presumably' electro-magnetic streaming consciousnesses that 'seems' to explain pseudo-scientific stuff like ESP and synchronicity?
    If this is your "what's the point thingy" then I attempted to answer it with my previous response. But allow me to further elaborate.

    The point in creating all the complexities of the scientific paradigm as we know it?

    It all had to pass muster to the majority of us, those of us that think about such things. It all had to make sense, it all had to fit together seamlessly. When we first started this game, we were unicellular prokaryotes or even less than that. We've had a long time to fine-tune it all so that it passses inspection, even a detailed inspection by our best minds, because those are the very minds most responsible for creating the fine detail in the first place, since they are the only ones capable of understanding such complexity.

    Science is, after all, just another word for the cutting edge of human reasoning as applied to reality. Nothing magical about science. It works because it is tested to work. It reflects reality, and even perhaps defines it.

    We saw things that we'd previously dreamed up and couldn't *explain* them so we looked for the explanation for them, and looked of course for an explanation for them that would *make sense* scientifically, and with great determination we found our explanations for the phenomena. But were these "causes" really there before we needed to see them and so looked for them? In my scenario, no. They were provided by our very questing for them. When we seek, we tend to find.

    So the only "point" in creating it all is that we needed to see *something" when we looked around, and we also needed what we saw to make *sense.* And the more sense that we needed it to make, the more the universe accomodated us in our quest for adequate complexity and consistency.

  11. .. and this seems to 'fall apart' below the electro-magnetic reality exactly 'why'?

    ... and this seems to fall apart at the 'cosmic' level... 'dark matter', 'dark energy', exactly 'why'?

  12. And again to re-emphasize, when I say "we" in this context, I'm referring not only to all humanity, but to all our precursors, all the way back to the dawn of life, and even perhaps before that. The dream started long before the present set of dreamers came to the table. It just got more complex as the dreamers evolved over time and so needed more complexity, needed to *see* more complexity.

    After all, if the most advanced viewpoint in the universe is a paramecium, then the universe only needs to be as complex as the limited senses and mind of a paramecium can perceive. When life (and thus, viewpoints) became more complex over time, the universe had to provide adequate detail to keep the dream believable to all participants, from paramecium to homo sapiens.

    It all is what we believe it to be because it is our very belief in it that gives it reality in the first place.

  13. And the other life-forms that are almost certainly 'out there' somewhere.

    What of them?

  14. .. and this seems to 'fall apart' below the electro-magnetic reality exactly 'why'?

    ... and this seems to fall apart at the 'cosmic' level... 'dark matter', 'dark energy', exactly 'why'?
    Great questions.

    Perhaps there are limits. Clues, even.

    Why can't anything be smaller than the Planc length, for instance? Dunno. If I were to guess, I'd say that we for some reason felt that there had to be a limit to how small something could be since we have trouble imagining any sort of infinity, and so it had to be incredibly small but still finite, so we found an incredibly small limit to how long a thing can be. Same with the rest. All a factor of belief, of course influenced heavily by previous beliefs that have become "facts."

    Dark matter and dark energy appeared because we needed the mystery to continue...


    When we believe that we can know the very nature of reality and we believe that such a thing is actually possible, then we will be worthy to know it. Until then, we are doomed to at first glimpse things, new exciting possibilities, and then to discover their "disproofs." Cyclically, like a pendulum, but hopefully ever moving closer to the goal as it were. We see something and then say to ourselves "No, that can't be right" and so we then look for and ultimately see the very thing that disproves it because we were looking for such "disproof." Another vicious circle.

  15. And the other life-forms that are almost certainly 'out there' somewhere.

    What of them?
    Perhaps when we can truly all believe, can say "certainly" instead of "almost certainly," then we might meet them. But remember that when we do, that they as well will be participants in this communal dream, and as such, not really any less "human" than we are. They too, will be brothers in the great game.

    Even if they decide to exterminate us.

    Heh heh.

    (If they do decide to exterminate us, it will be because we believe that that is what they will do, and so will perish, victims to our own paranoia)

  16. This whole thing seems to move 'reality' exactly one step back, apart from the para-normal pseudo-scientific gravy that is.

    Eric thinks that our minds are not simply electro-magnetic processes and you think that it might be that we 'dream' it is electro-magnetic processes.

    I'm not sure why you just can't agree with Eric, since he really does believe that consciousness is ultimately supernatural as your theory would be 'indicating' to you, isn't that right?

  17. Its like decoherence.

    Years ago it was theorized that only an *observer* could "fix" the location of a quantum particle. Like as in, Schroedinger's cat.

    But then, since that was just unbelievable, someone discovered "decoherence." This new discovery meant that the observer is no longer necessary, that other neighboring quantum particles by their interactions with the particle in question could and did provide all the "observations" necessary to fix said particle into its definite "real" state.

    So while most would contend that the observer is no longer necessary in "fixing" reality into manifestation due to the discovery of the phenomena of decoherence, I would contend that the discovery of decoherence itself was just another manifestation of the way in which this universe responds to our expectations. We couldn't believe it, so we found a way to disprove it. And in the future perhaps we will find a way to re-prove it again and explain away decoherence by some other phenomena as yet to be discovered. Or a way to synthesize it all and still get to the answer.

    I do believe, perhaps irrationally, that if we seek ultimate truth long enough, that we will find it. We just might have to evolve further as a species before we are even able to perceive it as the ultimate truth in the first place. And I also believe that it is science that will get us there. Not religion. Science is our only chance.

  18. Eric's "supernatural" is contraindicated by reason and by science, but mine is in fact hinted at by the same, if not as yet proven. I am not proposing anything so unlikely as an anthropomorphic deity that only the Catholics guessed right about here. My scenario is a lot more likely than that. And also mine is much more explicative of reality in all its complexity. I shoud know. I was raised a Roman Catholic.

  19. Love your input here, Pboy.

    I'm beat. Have to sign off. I'll pick this up again tomorrow.

    This has been a lot of fun, thanks.

  20. You guys don't have "regular" jobs, do you?

  21. Define 'regular' Ed! LOL

    Is it something like 'normal' or 'average'?

    Sometimes, in the still of the night, I wonder if Brian is, perhaps a Southern Baptist Preacher trolling for sermon ideas!

    Then, right after that I think, "Fool me once, shame on me, or is it you?... er... well.. just remember the key points, one of us is a fooler and the other one a fool! Got that?"

    I am SO sorry Brian for my sad, sad joke about you being a preacher! I hope that you can find it in your heart to not hunt me down and execute me for that one.

    Word Verification:- fritoing!(but it didn't 'take')

  22. Geez, it's so obvious that I'm just a brain in a vat, and all of you are only figments of my imagination!
    This reminds me of when my Earth Science teacher asked us how we know without a doubt that the Earth is round. He tricked a student into thinking it was really shaped like a garbage can cover! (No, it wasn't me)

  23. Brian,
    If you've never read it before, there's a short story by Isaac Asimov called "The Last Question". I highly recommend it.

  24. Uh, Floyd:
    Regular as in preventing you from typing back and forth with Brian until 4:00 am...

  25. A southern Baptist preacher? I'm cut to the quick, pboy.

    My latest sermon was on how to prepare the holiday dish "Cockatiel a la framboise..."

    Hitlerchu, you I can BELIEVE are a brain in a vat...

    Hey, it's not even that. No vats, no brains either. Just the dream. The dreamers (us) are only dreaming that we need bodies and brains in order to have minds. The reverse is true.

  26. I was sooo tired last night, too. Every time I went to post I had to clean up like ten typos first.

    I'm self-employed now, and a night person.

  27. I missed that Asimov story Ed. I'll have to look for it.

    Heck, if you want to look at a modern story that reflects this "philosophy," it's the Matrix. Perhaps it was written by someone that intuited the truth of things... It's not the same of course. No machines, just us in our own self-created matrix. And no blue pill to take. Darn. I want my blue pill.

  28. I hope you're wrong, Brian. So disappointing if it's all just a dream. I still haven't gotten over the fact that Bobby wasn't dead, it was all just a dream. Dallas SUCKED that year. (sigh)
    I'm not "getting it" am I? You said it's simple to grasp.....whoa, way to much credit coming my way, at least. I'm going to have to borrow someone's roomba..I dreamed my labs brought sticks into the house, and chipper shredded them all over my carpets.
    I kid! I kid! I'm just really having trouble with this one. I don't usually lack imagination, but now I'll have to rethink that.
    I have absolutely nothing remotely intellectually significant to bring to this conversation. Damn.

  29. Brian,

    The Asimov short (about 14 pages, if I remember) is one of his most famous and can be found in most of his short story anthologies. Enjoy.

  30. Hey Jude,

    (My favorite song in second grade, btw...)

    I am glad that it's at least thought-provoking. Heck, I'm happy already about the post since it always seems to clarify things for me further by talking about this stuff. It's very contraintuitive and I need to discuss it to understand it better myself. Hard to grasp at first grope, so to speak... And even at the thousandth, trust me.

    I have this book, "A Concise Guide to Cabalistic Symbolism" by Gareth Knight. I always think about this book as an indicator to how it is possible for me to deepen my understanding of a slippery subject like this. (Kaballah is about as slippery as they come.)
    I purchased this book about ten years ago. It's hardcover and the size of a good dictionary, and written in two parts. Now when I first purchased it I decided to read it carefully from cover to cover, and so I did. I understood about ten or twenty percent of it at best. The rest was mishmash. Gobbledegook. A few interesting things, the rest silliness. So I shelved it and went on to more interesting books. Books also about cabala (or kabbalah or however one chooses to spell it) and thus three years went by. One day I saw my old gobbledegook book on my shelf and decided to take a look at it again. I would up re-reading it from cover to cover. This time I completely understood at least three-quarters of what the author was saying, and it made so much sense that I couldn't believe that I didn't get it the first time. And no gobbledegook, or at least not much. The author was amazingly intelligent as it turned out, and I had never been able to pierce beneath the surface of his words to their deeper meanings, which I had to use my intuitive side and not my rational side to see, hence it all seemed to be nonsense. It wasn't even his terminology, it was that I wasn't used to reading things like that, in that manner, more feeling the words than hearing them...
    Some people communicate at the more intuitive level than a rational type mind can sense at first glance.

    Another example of this phenomena is Oliver Stone. I saw him interviewed by Bill Maher, and his way of speaking fascinated me. Bill was missing it, I think. So was most of the audience. But some of the time, he used combinations of words to convey a mood rather than a concept, and it was a lot like painting rather than speaking. I *sensed* an *intentional* undercurrent in his speech that he understood, and perhaps thought that all other people did as well. Er, no. Because while I could sense it, I could also "look" at him through my logical/rational side and see him as somewhat silly sounding. Both at the some time. I "got" him with my intuitive side, while my rational side saw him (incorrectly, mind you) as an ineffectual fop. It was fascinating. I have a new respect for him, being able to communicate at a subtler level than the average person even suspects exists. Hell, I didn't even know that such a thing was possible ten years ago.

  31. Brian:

    "I think, therefore I am!"
    This seems to pretty much sum up your entire thesis. Moreover, it seems to say everything we think is, just is. I'm not sure I can get around this, but at least it smacks of the agnostics' view that even if there is a God who created us, He is totally unaware of nor cares about His "creation". Therefore, there is no point in any kind of "worship". Your repeated reference to this universal mind "needing" to dream more and more complex realities certainly seems to fir the "need" for every culture we know of to create a Deity.

    As the German soldier on That Was the Week That Was used to say "Veeeddy interesting!!"

  32. Maybe if the election had turned out the other way......
    We could have called your theory the " Little Brain" ?

    I'll have to agree with p-boy here. If this is a dream, where's my riding crop, roll of duct tape, and 3 midget nymphomaniacs ?

  33. If th election had turned out the other way, I'd have called it a nightmare and not a dream, that's for sure.

    When I was talking about this on the old DD board someone called it my "Big Brain" theory and I liked it so it stuck. Much like my name here, Saint Brian the Godless. Once I heard it, I knew it was perfect.

    Before that I most often called it a "Vast Mind."

    Big Brain is catchier... :-)

  34. As the German soldier on That Was the Week That Was used to say "Veeeddy interesting!!"
    Dunno about him, but when Arte Johnson used to do the German soldier on Laugh-In, he used to follow it up with "...but schtupid!"

    Hope that's not where you're going with it... :-)

  35. I'll have to agree with p-boy here. If this is a dream, where's my riding crop, roll of duct tape, and 3 midget nymphomaniacs ?
    I can't believe that you nailed my fantasy like that... Impressive!

    Hey, in an orgy situation, do you count nymphomaniac midgets as one person or a half? Because if the latter, in order to have a menage a trois I'd have to sleep with four of them... Not that I'm complaining, mind you.

  36. Moreover, it seems to say everything we think is, just is.
    The key word there being "we." As in, our group mind and not our individualities. Of course, when someone accesses the group mind through belief or through meditative practices or other means of gnosis, they can sometimes "convince" the group mind to change, or perhaps better to say "allow a local dispensation" as long as said change doesn't affect the grand scheme of things. As long as the change doesn't conflict with an already-held group mind belief. Like gravity for instance. One cannot levitate. It's against the cumulative belief of the group mind. But you might be able to win the lottery if you can muster up enough
    belief in the fact that you will...

  37. I mean, if you ask anyone if it's more possible that someone could levitate, could defy gravity with no technological assistance, or win the lottery, most everyone would pick the latter... So the group mind, the "Big Brain" might allow such a small change as a shift in odds... It's at least possible to win the lottery in the BB. And by "possible" I mean "permissible." The story made national news, but did anyone take it seriously? Of course not, excet for a few people that most others would call "flakes." So since his winning the lottery didn't cause us all to realize that magic(k) works and thus overturn reality, since it was largely ignored, it was permissible.

  38. Oh, and the "I think, therefore I am" thingy...

    I AM...


    But before I was Brian, I was "I AM." Before I had a name, I was. By taking the bit of identity in the baby that was me and influencing it both by genetic vageries and external influences, I am now the identity called Brian. But I am also still just "I AM." Just that sense of identity.

    The idea here is that all beings have this in common with me. This exactly identical sense of "I AM" identity. And since it is literally identical, it is shared by all beings. It's technically all the *same being* in that sense. Everything, I mean. We're all made up of "particles" of "I AM." It is quite literally us.

    Now think of the implications. If true, at death you may lose some of the less significant surface memories but the core of what you are, the very sense of identity, goes on, as if only a shift in viewpoint has occured. Sort of like going from "I" to "WE."

    While still alive, whatever you see is also seen by the "I AM" that we all share. So our group mind beliefs about what it is that you're seeing influence what you do see, and thus you will always find that it fits in with the grand scheme of things as we all know it. Or close enough.

  39. See, this "I AM" stuff likes to hook up. It likes to form associations with other bits of "I AM" and when this happens the entire aggregate also automatically gets its own sense of "I AM" from all of its parts harmonizing with each other. So the atom is a very tiny bit of "I AM" but the molecule is a tad more complex lumping of "I AM" and when these molecules form the cell it then has its even larger lump of "I AM" with basic cellular instincts attached, but let millions of cells all get together and form something even far more complex like *us* and all the little bits of identity hook up like in series to produce a being that thinks it's not connected to anything at all when its connected to literally everything there is. Oh, and in the future we also will try to "hook up" more with each other, since that's what "I AM" likes to do, and if we eventually co-operate closely enough we will form our own kind of "super-organism" that is related to us in the same way we are related to our cells.

  40. Hey, I just had a funny thought!

    You know how I said that "I AM" likes to hook up, to form groupings?

    What better name for this mysterious force that brings little bits of "I AM" together to form bigger aggregates of it, than "love?"

    Cool. I always wondered what that was.

  41. The mathematicians amongst my readers will possibly note that the structure suggested by all of this, the repetition of the pattern at every level from micro to macro, is best described as a "fractal."

  42. "If this is a dream, where's my riding crop, roll of duct tape, and 3 midget nymphomaniacs ?"


    mac is fuckin' NAUGHTY!!!

    way to represent for all the freaks out there, mac. i'm so proud of you.

  43. Still, Brian, seems to me that it wouldn't matter exactly what any one of us thinks, it would be the groupthink that counts, right?

    But there's a couple of billion Muslims all wanting to be right and they want a GOD.

    There's a couple of billion, or is it three billion Christians and THEY want roughly the same GOD.

    So why wouldn't they as groupthinkers get THEIR way under your scheme?

  44. So why wouldn't they as groupthinkers get THEIR way under your scheme?
    Easy. Their worldviews lack consistency, even from one believer in a particular faith to the next believer in the same faith, even within the same church, never mind going from one sect to the next. There is no consistant structure to "fix" reality in place. But science, well that's so well structured that its even accepted by most religious people. Each thing in science is connected rationally, to the things that preceded it. It's all like a beautiful pyramid, each layer securely seated within the one beneath it, all locked into immobility. And don't forget one little thing. As old as religion is, science was here first. That's right. What is scince but observation of the world and testing it and seeing what "works?" Science was responsible for the mud hut, the stone knife, the animal hide, even the first rock that was ever picked up and used to smash something. Religion came later. Science had the first crack at things.

  45. Still, Brian, seems to me that it wouldn't matter exactly what any one of us thinks, it would be the groupthink that counts, right?
    Our reality, our "groupthink" has "decided" to not only base all its discernable material structure on science but also to remain "mysterious" enough to allow the smaller groups of groupthinkers to still believe what they believe. It occassionally gives them little signs of confirmation of their belief, nothing so overt that a mainstream science-type would buy it, but enough so that the believer has their confirmation... The BB always succeeds in pleasing all of the people all of the time as far as their expectations are concerned.

    And when any one person *knows* (realizes) that their will can have an effect on the groupthink as a whole, that knowledge (certainty) is exactly what allows them to have that effect, within certain limits of course. It's a matter of "faith," believe it or not. The tough part is to be absolutely sure. And if you're a humble psychonaut like me, to not become a psychotic one in the process. To experiment with "faith" and not become one of the faithful. A razor's edge.

  46. I'm not buying that Brian.

    People do what they learned as they grew, science or no.

    I once freaked out my niece(who thinks she's a witch) by cold-reading her.

    I was explaining cold-reading and by way of explanation picked the letter K at random and asked her if she knew anyone by that name.

    Karen, who she didn't get along with.. so I said that Karen was 'reaching out to her' through me!

    What a laugh, she hung up the phone so fast I can only imagine that she needed a quick change of underwear!

    This tells me that 'spiritual' believers REALLY believe.

    I, on the other hand, really don't believe.

  47. Can you guys imagine what Thomas Gassett could add to this conversation?

    (sigh) I miss him...

  48. I, on the other hand, really don't believe.
    I can respect that.

    Of course again I am compelled to remind you that by choosing to not believe, or at least to keep open to the concepts, you lose any chance of ever seeing the mechanism that I'm talking about here, since it gives you what you expect it to. Expect nothing, and it will gladly comply.

  49. This tells me that 'spiritual' believers REALLY believe.
    You must always remember that most true believers in anything, are flakes. They've lost touch with consensual reality in favor of their beliefs. That's why I attempt, however unsucessfully at times it may prove, to remain a "thinker" or a "speculator" and not a "believer" in all this. To believe utterly is the trap. Even in this. One has to remain fluid. And grounded. For even if this reality is like a dream, we all still have to live in it and the rent will still be due. We have to still act like it's all dead matter, energy, space and time, while knowing at a deeper level that it really isn't.

  50. "... choosing to not believe.."

    What? I don't wake up every morning thinking, "Do I believe in the spiritual today...hmm... (flip) tails! Guess not!"

  51. People do what they learned as they grew, science or no.
    The overarching paradigm of this "dream" is the scientific one. Even people that think that they don't believe in science use it every day and so contribute to the paradigm. Like I said, what is science but trying shit out and seeing what works? Who doesn't do that, ever? For example if I am a hunter, I use science every time I sight in my gun. Trial and error. In reality, science is the obvious correct worldview because it works. It *produces results.* While religion offers so much in the way of convoluted "proofs" and "apologies" it can't make a microwave oven for shit.

  52. What? I don't wake up every morning thinking, "Do I believe in the spiritual today...hmm... (flip) tails! Guess not!"
    You mean that you never decided that believing in the supernatural was stupid? That it was erroneous thinking? That was a choice. Based on real facts, no doubt. But what are facts in this dream but things already agreed upon by the group mind?

  53. By the way, I think that Wicca is stupid. But not nearly so much so as the Abrahamic faiths. I see a grain of my BB thing in the wiccan faith, even though they themselves would deny it.

    Religion is not the path. Science is, because if the BB thing is correct it will lead us to it eventually, and if it isn't, it will prove that.

  54. Are you really saying that to see any 'effects' for you to believe in, you have to start by believing?

    I think I heard that somewhere before.

    I didn't believe it about the truth of the Bible either!

  55. Are you really saying that to see any 'effects' for you to believe in, you have to start by believing?

    I think I heard that somewhere before.

    I didn't believe it about the truth of the Bible either!

    Good point, but the difference is that they are asking you to "see" what they see, which is the illusion they've created for themselves. I'm asking you to merely open up enough to see the mechanism that deludes them. They ask belief; I don't even give that myself. I guess, if I'm asking anything really, is to simply keep open about it enough to look into it, since if you're totally closed to it, it won't let you. That's the mechanism.

    Or not. I'll still like you if you don't. Lol.

  56. Heck, you can consider it mental experimentation. Its far from boring. Veddy eeeeennnteresting, actually. To play with belief without really believing just in order to see if there's anything that responds to belief in the universe. One can maintain as skeptical an attude as one wishes while doing this as long as they utilize some technique to temporarily nullify their skepticism during their experiments and then re-establish it afterwards in its full. It's a trick, but I like a challenge.

  57. As to the technique, it can be as simple as affirmations if you can really focus on them somehow, make them significant and important. Like as in, think of a religious ritual. Write them down at the precise same time of day "religiously." Chant them while you do it. That's what they're trying to do, the religious people that designed their rituals. To make it *seem* real and important, so they *believe* that it is. Stagecraft works. I'm talking about self-hypnosis of course. With props. Even a piece of paper and a pencil are adequate props if you focus well enough. If not, then more elaborate rituals will suffice to increase the significance of the event in your subconsious.

    Of course, keep the skepticism. You will need it to remain grounded.

    But you have to be able to intentionally relax it within strict limits for short periods of time, for the purposes of the experiment. Or else, don't bother even trying. It will all just be a phenomenal waste of time.

  58. Oh, and maybe not chant. It's too silly in our minds. It would cause more disbelief rather than less.

    But you get the idea. You can design what works for you because you know you.

  59. My first time using affirmations it was to attain a job that I wanted a company to create for me. I had been trying for three years. I started the affirmations, and had it in two weeks. Now, I didn't let this go to my head, but it sure as hell got me doing more affirmations. When they started to work as well, AND I started to get the synchronicities (come to think of it, at about the same time) it became easier to relax my disbelief temporarily the next time. And now, I'm not sure that I don't believe. It's a problem for a skeptic like me.

  60. The only way to prove to one's self that maya exists, and that its nature is to deceive, is to try using maya itself to prove that maya deceives. If maya doesn't exist, then you can't prove it to yourself. If you do prove it to yourself, then you know that maya exists.

  61. Of course, I forgot to mention that just because you can't prove it to yourself doesn't mean that maya doesn't exist. If you simply cannot ever succeed in relaxing your (generic "your" here, not you specifically) skepticism, then you can't ever see maya for what it is. So the nature of the experiment is a difficult one. To play with one's own consciousness in order to ascertain if it's a solitary thing or linked to all other consciousnesses. The prize is worth the effort though, no?

    I use maya here interchangably for the Big Brain, really. I like the word "maya." The people that created it understood it. I just don't generally use it because of general unfamiliarity with it.

  62. Or maybe more accurately perhaps "maya" is our impression of the "Big Brain." What we see individually in it. Including illusions if we're letting ourselves see them.

    Its kinda like the Big Brain is the mirror and maya is our reflection in it.

    Or not and I've become a hopeless flake. The possibility exists, and I must acknowledge it.

    (Please do me the favor of not affirming that I am in fact a hopeless flake, pboy. It can hardly change my chimerical opinion of myself, so why bother?)

  63. I have a feeling that if this post gets to three hundred responses it will be because I've posted two hundred and fifty of them.

    No matter, though. In this one case I must confess that I've posted it more for me than for all of you. Not that I don't want all of you to enjoy it, far from it. But I posted it both to just "have it out there" on my blog, and to hear myself respond to your comments, and thus to further clarify my own thoughts on it in my mind.

    I've also noticed that when I talk about this stuff, I get more synchronicities. So that's fun, too.

    Anyhow, I appreciate all your thoughts on this matter sincerely. Special thanks must go out to pboy for providing the necessary foil.

    I hope that I get to hear Ford's take on it too. He's at least as flaky as me.

  64. OK, you guys always talk alot about synchronicity...can you pop over to psychic phenomenon? I don't consider myself psychic by any means. I've had my share of deja vu, and once in a while just know or feel stuff that turns out right. I'm usually able to just tell myself "lucky guess." But this morning was different. I was sitting here at my computer, having my coffee, lollygagging. When all of a sudden, I made myself get up because I just KNEW the horses were out, and I'd better go check the lawn because the neighbors frown upon my horse poop in their yards if they wander that far. So I actually moved to answer this mental image. I have boards AND electric fencing, maximum security because of past issues. The horses hadn't gotten out for a few years now, and it's something I don't worry about anymore. Damn if I didn't go out the front door and run right into one of my boys around the corner. I swear I didn't hear him, there were no cues at all to alert me. How in the world did I know a horse was out? Why did I believe "the voice?" Is it part of the big brain, does it fit?

  65. And btw...are voices in your head a *bad* thing? LMAO And how exactly DO you respond to them when they whisper duct tape and nymphomanic midgets in your ear? LOL I think I'm glad mine are sticking to "your horses are out."
    (so far)

  66. i've had very similar experiences to what jude is talking about. from deja vu to just "knowing" something without any indications. but the weirdest one happened earlier this year.

    this was before i left wyoming to move in with danny so it was just my son and i living in my apartment. for months i had this weird feeling like someone was going to break or attack me in the alley behind my apartment. i tried dismissing the feeling as me watching too much cold case files on tv and being paranoid, but it just felt different and i couldn't let it go. i had had instances while walking across a deserted parking lot late at night where i would think to myself "ok i better have my keys out when i get to my car and stay aware of my surroundings" but this wasn't a feeling of "this could happen" it was more of a feeling of "this will happen".

    one morning my son (who wasn't quite 4 yet) walked up to me in the kitchen after he got out of bed and told me "mommy, you need to get a gun so you can shoot the monster when it comes through the front door." i asked him what monster he was talking about and he said it was a bad man. i told him he didn't need to worry about it, that he was just having a bad dream and there were no monsters and he said "no mom, the monster is going to come when it's dark. you need to shoot him so he won't get you." i was pretty surprised because he never talked about guns and shooting people before, but i just let it go as his imagination.

    then one night i woke up and looked at the doorway to my bedroom and saw a tall dark figure standing there. then the dark figure started coming toward me and i realized there was a man in my room. i was a little disoriented from just waking up so for a moment i was confused. but then the man started to crawl across my bed toward me and i snapped out of my mental fog, jumped out of bed, ran across the room and turned on my light so i could see if he had any weapons. i didn't see any weapons and he was just sitting on my bed, staring at me so i told him to get out of my apartment so he got up and walked out. i watched which way he walked down the street then i called the cops and they found him and arrested him.

    i still don't know what he was doing in my apartment, but i do know it wasn't to steal anything. my purse, brand new $200.00 digital camera, and brand new $160.00 mp3 player were all laying in plain view in my living room, which was were he came in. as far as i can tell, he broke in then came straight to my bedroom and i have no idea what his intentions were and what he would have done had i not woken up when i did.

    i know that korbin's dream could be explained as him just having a random nightmare that happened to have a lot of similarities to what really happened, but i don't know how one would be able to explain away my feeling of knowing someone was going to break into my house and then that actually happening.

  67. Wow, that had to be really scary, Richelle. I guess it's good for all of us to "listen to your gut" when we get those feelings, even if it were to turn out to be nothing. Sometimes, it seems we do just know. Also, doubly interesting that you and your son had the same feeling, or knowing.
    Big brain....or something else?

  68. Richelle..

    Isn't it a good thing that you didn't own a 357 Magnum?

    That strange guy would, no doubt, have been dead if you had been lying in wait for your son's 'bad-man-who-is-going-to-hurt-you', in the dark, with the reassuring icy coldness of 'Mr. Getsome' ready to 'blow his load'.

    Just a thought.


    Is it possible that you smelled your horse or 'felt' him/her/it(subtle vibrations through the ground, 'heard-but- unregistered-by-your conscious' familiar horsey sound?

    Brian. It seems to me that you are doing your very best to describe an unreligion to me.

    If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that there is no such thing as luck!

    Well, as luck would have it(or IS it luck????), I play poker online.

    Think about it.

    Word Verification = 'oughte'

  69. It is interesting to me that although I have never been aware of a "gut" premonition, my wife, who is an educated and intelligent person quite frequently does have them. Moreover, it turns out that she is right much more often than not. For the most part, these premonitions take the form of "pegging" an individual she has only just met or seeing through to the truth of a situation we wight hear about on the news long before any of the real information has come out in public. She attributes my lack of such "understanding" of issues without benefit of logic or evidence as being "right brained" (whatever that actually means), but I believe I have noticed this knd of "tuning in" to things much more often in women than in men. Who knows? It may just be a better understanding of or acceptance of the Big Brain that Brian suggests we are all a part of.

    P.S. Brian, of course it was Arte Johnson (whose full name I could not remember).

  70. Brian said,

    "But before I was Brian, I was "I AM." Before I had a name, I was. By taking the bit of identity in the baby that was me and influencing it both by genetic vageries and external influences, I am now the identity called Brian. But I am also still just "I AM." Just that sense of identity."

    So that's how Madonna became "Esther"?

  71. Psychic phenomena? Easy.

    If this is all a mind-like scenario we find ourselves in, but unlike a mind or a dream it is much more "rigid" and inflexible to our desires and expectations of it, then most "psychic phenomena" aren't going to happen since we can't believe that they're real. But since its not a completely rigid system there can be small exceptions, such as sensing horses or a man thats going to be in your room, since it's all thought anyhow. Conversely it is also possible that once you're "expecting" a "monster" to come some night, the fear of that can create the situation. Which may be why the man wasn't even sure why he was there. He might have been there because he was in the right frame of mind to be easily influenced by the group mind, which had already been affected by your son and you expecting him or someone like him, so the idea popped into his head to break in, with no real plan. So either a premonition of something about to happen, or a strong thought about something happenning that created its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Both are possible in the Big Brain.

  72. Brian. It seems to me that you are doing your very best to describe an unreligion to me.
    -Well, that's still better than a religion, no?

    If I am understanding you correctly, you are saying that there is no such thing as luck!
    -Not exactly. Luck, or probability, is one of the lynchpins of the Big Brain (and of Quantum Physics.) But expectations can skew the odds, is more my point. The odds remain "normal" when no individual or group involved is capable of influencing them. "Capable" meaning able to attain a gnosis of a sort either through unconscious means such as laughter, anger, other strong emotions, or through intentional means such as self-hypnosis and meditation on the subject.

  73. I should mention something about the "right brain-left brain" thing. The "right brained" individual is the more intuitive, emotional minded, while the "left-brained" individual is of course the logical-rational type. This equates exacty to Yin and Yang. More women tend to be "right-brained" while more men tend to be "left-brained" on average, but there's no set rule about that.

    The logical part of our brain is the neocortex, the "outer skin" as it were. The most recent development in mammalian brains. Evolutionarily speaking it only developed yesterday. Very recent. But the emotional parts of the brain are the more primitive parts that we even share with the lower orders. They've been around forever. So the lower orders feel emotions quite keenly, in most cases. Just not rational thought. Now, if I am a "rational-logical" type I tend to "live in" the neocortex." But if I'm the emotional-intuitive type, I still use the neocortex of course, but I tend to "live in" the more primitive, older parts of the brain. The ones most closely connected to the "Big Brain, as it happens. And this is VERY significant.

    I contend that psychic phenomena such as precognition reside in the primitive parts of the brain most closely connected with the Big Brain, for obvious reasons. So they reside not in the neocortex but in the rimitive mammalian and reptilian brains beneath it.

    This means that the rational-logical type is not well-equipped to see them, sense them, or believe them if they do.

    This also means that, if there is a such thing as psychic ability, it's only attainable by the intuitive-emotional types. The rational types can't sense the subtleties through all that logic masking their emotional-intuitive capacity.

    The thing about these intuitive-emotional types is, being essentially irrational by nature, they're not in a very good position to sound sane about what they're perceiving. They might BE sane, and might BE really seeing things, but they're not logical enough to effectively comunicate what they perceive without sounding flaky to the logical types.

  74. So harvey, your wife is right, although she mixed up the sides. The left brain is the rational side, the right the emotional. But the emotions are also produced in the more primitive parts of the brain, so I don't think hemispheres are really the best way to denote this difference.

    In kaballah the sides are reversed as well. My left hand and side is supposed to relate to emotions, my right to logic. Of course this still makes sense since the brain is reversed in which sides of the body each hemisphere controls.

  75. If ten years ago I could have heard Oliver Stone speak and just think he was kinda flaky and never see that underneath the surface he was brilliant only not in a "logical-rational" way, and now I can, then who knows what other layers of subtlety we all miss going around us every moment? Our perceptions seem keen to us, but in reality we're almost blind. Hell, many plain-looking flowers show vivid markings under UV light, because they don't need US to see them, they're there for the insects, who see into the ultraviolet range just fine.

  76. I've found that it is possible for a "left-brained" (logical-rational) type individual to become more balanced, more in touch with their emotional-intuitive side, by focusing attention on it. But you hafta wanna. It's fucking hard. We balk at it by nature. To change in such a manner is to admit that we've been wrong about what we were before the change, and it's painful to admit that we're wrong about core issues like that. We tend to want to hold onto them. Even if they're wrong. We usually instead tell ourselves lies that "prove" that they're not wrong so we don't have to change.

  77. In fact if the kaballah hadn't taught me about such balance I would have never known about it, and we wouldn't be having this conversation. Its not even visible to a hard-core rational type like I used to be. I couldn't see any value in becoming more emotional. I wanted to be Spock, not Jim Kramer.

    Of course it turned out that that kind of emotional side wasn't exactly what they were talking about.

  78. I said, "Well, as luck would have it(or IS it luck????), I play poker online."

    I guess it's one thing to TALK about BB theory influencing chance, is that right?

    This must be deja-vu, because bringing that up seemed a lot like bringing up the 'power of prayer' to a Christian!

    Or was that 'just me'?

  79. Well, as luck would have it(or IS it luck????), I play poker online.

    Think about it.
    Are you a better poker player than you feel that you are? When you lose, are you sure that you weren't feeling like you might lose that hand more than you were feeling that you would win it? When you win, are you sure that you weren't already feeling good about it?

  80. I guess it's one thing to TALK about BB theory influencing chance, is that right?
    Well, for what its worth my wife as I've mentioned previously, is pregnant. We had problems conceiving so we tried artificial insemination, but that didn't work. So we decided to try in-vitro fertilization. Expensive, even with our good health coverage. Like 2200 dollars. So we could only afford one try. With less than a 33 percent chance of success. We hesitated, money being tight. But we decided to go ahead with it. I did a meditation on it, but really more on me, self-hypnotizing to believe that it would work. I really put forth an effort. And I "felt something" when I finally came to the "finale" of my meditation, which involved carefully prepared physical props and visualizations. I can't swear that I felt it, but it felt like something *changed* at that moment. And at that moment and afterwards I've felt convinced that we're having this baby.

    And of course we got pregnant. We made it through that 33% window. In fact, we found out the very next day, since I intentionally did my little ritual well after the in-vitro, right around the time where we would be finding out how it went. (Since we didn't know and neither did anyone else, it didn't matter whether I did it before or after the physical act of injecting the embryos) So that was a good thing!

    Now yesterday my wife fell at work and soon thereafter started bleeding. And she's had a miscarriage only two years ago that ended like this, mind you. So she's all panicked, practically CERTAIN that she lost the baby, and so she asked me how I felt about it, if it still felt like I was sure that we were having this baby, and I said almost to my surprise and truthfully "Yes." If I hadn't really felt it I wouldn't have lied about it. Ever since I did my little ritual I've FELT certain about the baby. It's feelings, not thoughts that need to be manipulated here. Beliefs come from feelings more than thoughts anyhow. So today we go to the doctors and of course the baby's fine. Like I felt that it would be. When we lost the baby before not only hadn't I felt that it was still safe after the bleeding started, heck, I NEVER really FELT that me having a baby was realistic. I couldn't BELIEVE in it. And I knew it at the time, and couldn't turn that around. This time I tried a lot harder. I knew that I believed, or *close enough,*, and then it happened. I kept track. I pay attention to such things.

  81. It should be mentioned that we took a huge gamble. Our doctor told us that it might take five or six times and that considering certain biological factors our chances were not even 30 percent with one try. So there was about a 60+ percent chance that we were throwing the 2200 away on a hope. The reason that I decided to take the chance? I felt confident that this time I could make myself believe that it would happen regardless of the quoted odds.

  82. Oh, and we had three viable embryos implanted, with the distinct possibility that the result could be twins or even triplets. But I didn't feel like there would be more than one. No way. And of course, there is only one fetus now. The other two are gone.

  83. "Are you a better poker player than you feel that you are?"

    Prayer analogy:- Are your prayers answered 'yes' more than you feel they ought to be?

    " When you lose, are you sure that you weren't feeling like you might lose that hand more than you were feeling that you would win it?"

    Prayer analogy:-

    When your prayer is answered 'no', were you expecting THAT rather than it be answered 'yes'?

    " When you win, are you sure that you weren't already feeling good about it?"

    Prayer analogy:-

    When your prayer is answered 'yes', was it something like, "Dear God, please let me live another day?"

    Brian, my point here is that you're giving us the 'hard sell', I come back with, "I'm not buying!", you then say something like, 'belief will make you a believer, you CAN 'swing the odds' but NOW you're just dissembling, your covering your tracks.

    Your quizzing me about 'how I feel about outcomes of individual games' like a preacher quizzing his flock about their faith in their prayers!

    Are you honestly saying, just like pastors, just like wiccans, just like shamans, that your BB theory 'sometimes' seems to work, in 'some' fashion, sometimes, but 'better' if you believe in it?

    Just asking because you WERE talking about winning the LOTTERY through 'belief' weren't you?

    Are you NOW saying that not only is it unfalsifiable it is untestable?

    Are you NOW saying that the BB Theory will not be mocked!?

  84. And once the certainty is developed, one must be very careful not to question it. To even guard one's thoughts against it. To not even think of the odds.

    Gambling is a more difficult arena in which to manipulate reality, since greed is not one of the types of feelings that causes changes in reality. One has to detach from want of result. One has to be sure of result. The more sure you can become, the more you can possibly win. One also has other people to deal with who are *certain* that you can't win consistantly against the odds, and their expectations play into this equation as well, so it is much more difficult to string together a series of lucky chances than it is just one. And it becomes more difficult to overcome your disbelief the more that you win. The excitement of winning will work against your ability to believe that you can keep it going.

    The baby was a piece of cake by comparison to a lottery win. And that took months of preparation to get me to that level of belief.

  85. Yeah, you're right pboy. This is all bullshit. I don't really believe any of this. I was just having you all on. LOL!

    Ya got me.

  86. LMAO.. seriously?

    I 'cut' this comment to see your reply before I posted it:-

    "How tight is your money Brian?

    Do you think we could test your BB theory on 2cent/4cent games?

    We could have a pool(say ten bucks), instant message each other, give the old 'maya' a shot of mental crack!"

    Hey, I was willing to give it a go!

  87. Okay, I didn't really mean that last post...

    But it IS bullshit, to you pboy, and it always will be, and that's fine.

    You don't consider that the things that religions ask of you sound similar to what I ask of you because the both require belief. Duh. The salient difference here is that I'm asking you (really people in general, I'm not really thinking that you're going to take any of this seriously) is to try testing the effects of your own belief on reality by artificially generating belief, feelings of certitude, and then seeing what results. Just mental experimentation, not a religion. More like a mental yoga. No worship involved, no collection plates, no reason for me to throw bullshit at you except that I think there might be something to it and so it would be nice if others could also check it out. Of course, Christians all say "Hey, I just want you to check out Jesus..." so I'm doomed here.

  88. " Of course, Christians all say "Hey, I just want you to check out Jesus..." so I'm doomed here."

    Now your 'rebutting' yourself!

    I liked the idea of testing it with poker.

    I also think that you should name your unreligion 'Maya'.

    You really ought to describe some mental preparation or ritual that is not of the ..


    .. variety!

    You know, something we can 'believe in'.

  89. I'd have a lot to overcome at poker. First of all, I don't know how to play. No interest whatsoever. I'd rather toss the cards one at a time into a trashcan from across the room. Now THAT'S fun! And, unlike the lottery, there is strategy and skill involved in addition to chance. Second, all my life I've *believed* that I suck at gambling. Way before I realized the importance of belief and to guard against such things. So bad is it that I remember one time I was in a casino in the Dominican Republic with my friend Mike and when I approached the table where he was gambling at, he started to lose, and when I went away he'd start to win again. So I'd have to overcome a lifetime conviction that I suck at gambling. This extends to the lottery for me as well, by the way.

    I accept this, because I get my luck elsewhere in my life. I'd love to win the lottery, but I'm not sure that it would make me any happier.

    Oh, and motivation enters into it. I really WANTED the baby. I'm not into money so much. A lot harder to get emotional about it and generate *feelings* for it at a deep level.

  90. Oh well. At least we know that your unreligion doesn't 'defeat' pre-rationalizing that 'gambling is "not right" for you'.

    Still, that kind of rules out any testing at all and you can concentrate on stuff like the 'miracle' of birth together with adding all the 'hits' and dismissing all the 'misses'.

    Since you're not usually really LOOKING for 'hits' or 'misses' per se there are(conveniently) zero 'misses'.

    How can anyone NOT believe in your system? Even in Christianity 'GOD sometimes says NO'.

    Then there's the final, "Fuck it, I already said that I didn't really believe it myself anyways!", deal that you have.

    I LOVE that one.

    In the unreligion, BB Theory, you get to pre-deny your belief too!

    This reminds me of Botts talking about being the unpastor of one of the unchurches of Atheism.

    "Today, we will look at the Book of Isaiah, chapter Two, verse 43! That, right there(pointing finger accusingly), is bullshit!"

  91. Pboy, peace be unto you my son... lol...

    (Just a joke!!!)

    I don't think it's a religion, but I can certainly see why you do. And why I cannot ask belief of you, not even a synthetic, temporary belief in the spirit of mental experimentation. I cannot ask you to suspend your disbelief. I don't know what I was thinking.

    You're still way cool, of course.

  92. Oh, and I never asked belief in my system. I asked that people check it out for themselves, and I've tried to privide what I've perceived to be the ground rules. If others also then see what I see, this provides more confirmation for me. See, there's a selfish reason to this as well, I'm afraid.

    Did I ever tell you what started all of this metaphysical stuff in my life? I think I may have, but what the hell. It was Dilbert. Damn that dog.

    The book "Dilbert in the Year 2000" put out in '98 I think, was the seed that started all of this for me. No seriously.

    The book is a collection of Dilbert comics by Scott Adams, and I like Dilbert so I bought it.

    In the lasst chapter the author decided to be serious and shared his own discoveries about life and his personal philosophy if you wiii, sprinkled of course with relevant Dilbert strips. He is the one that spoke of affirmations and such. And he stressed that I shouldn't believe anybody, not even him, and presented it all so neutrally that I decided to take it seriously just to see where it went. I certainly didn't BUY any of it. Not yet. But as stated, the affirmations started other things going for me. And here I am, and here you are not ever having personally experienced anything like this and telling me how all wet I am. So it goes.

    Mr. Adams even emailed me back when I told him about the unusual effects his book had started for me. He was happy to hear it, but not surprised.

  93. Oh, and I never asked belief in my system. I asked that people check it out for themselves, and I've tried to privide what I've perceived to be the ground rules.
    Some of which I must admit involve synthesizing belief in what could be perceived to be "my system." Shit. I'm fucked here again. But if no results happen, I'm not asking you to continue believing in it. The point I always try to stress here is to control it, to temporarily believe in something and still remain grounded. To experiment with belief, but to be able to walk away from it afterwards. But it's not easy to get these points across if you've never thought of doing things like this and it's so strange to you that you can only see it as balderdash. Or religion. Same difference.

  94. Sorry Brian... got caught up in my game.

    I'm 'hanging in' at about 900/1500 place and stand to lose 25 cents.

    Hey, come on, Brian, we KNOW that WE'RE the 'good guys'!

  95. Don't even think about losing. Whatever you do, don't think about losing. If you lose, you're a loser, after all... So it's to be avoided, is my point.

  96. So far, I'm hanging in and we've passed the 'bubble'!(the bubble is where you end the game with no winnings)

    I stand to win at least 14 cents(and my two bits entry fee, of course)!

    Define 'lose' for me again!

    Oh, wait, maybe you might hold off on that definition for a bit!

  97. Finished with 90 cents.. that 65 cents up.

    Last hand, two kings against a pair of twos..

    .. third two came up.


  98. Actually if you thought so much about losing in the BB scenario as you would have if you took my advice and tried *not* to think about it like that you'd most likely lose. I was sabotaging you. So if you won anyhow, either you're right and the BB thing is poppycock, or you went and ignored me and didn't think about losing. Spoilsport.

  99. That's a crock! LOL

    That's called psyching someone out!

    Believe me, if you(not you personally) play a lot of poker you psyche yourself out enough to not be bothered by someone else doing it.

    Try hard not to think of elephants! (and such)

  100. It's Emma's birthday today!(the 5th)

  101. The biggest difference I can see between the BB theory and any other "religion" is the lack of benefit or importance to its proponent (?priest?). As Brian puts it, we should try it out to see if we get "results". Even though we may not because we didn't "believe" enough, there are no negative repercussions awaiting us if we don't "believe". Since we are all interconnected parts of the BB, nothing negative happens to anyone else, either. This is diametrically opposed to the "Christian" (or any organized religious) approach to belief; the proponent gets great benefit. At least, if you come to believe, he/she gets further affirmation that he/she "has it right". In most cases, the proponet gains control and/or monetary benefit over any new adherents to the religion in question. At worst, the religion gains another convert who will then feel constrained to press other non believers to join up, thus further metastasizing the religious viewpoint in question.
    I guess that there is no obvious drawback to "trying" on the BB theory of reality. Since, as physician, I have pledged "primum non nocere" (Above all, do no harm), I find this construct at least marginally attractive.

  102. Harvey said,

    "...thus further metastasizing the religious viewpoint in question."

    I like the implied insinuation that religion is a form of malignant cancer.

    I would probably comment more on this, but I am 'aspiritual' as well as atheistic. I don't see a need for any of it.

  103. In Big Brain lingo, I'd be as "left-brained" as they come.

  104. That's called psyching someone out!
    Same difference...

  105. The biggest difference I can see between the BB theory and any other "religion" is..........
    That's how I saw it when I first tried it. No real risk, and nobody's askin' for my credit card.

    Thank you Harvey. I'm glad someone else sees it that way.

  106. Harvey, you stated the differences better than I did. Thanks again.

  107. In other words, I couldn't give a shit lees WHY we're here, or what the purpose is; the fact that counts is that we ARE here. I try to make the best of my time here for myself and my kids. If they can say after I'm gone, "Dad was a great guy. He helped us to become proper citizens of the world", then I will have achieved (for me) all that there is to achieve. And at the last, I will no longer exist. No "Hosannas" at the foot of god's throne in the clouds for this atheist!

  108. If you try this out and there are no effects, you notice nothing different or unusual, what have you lost? But if you do, what have you gained?

    There's no downside to it, except for one I have to mention. Harvey, being a doctor (I think that's what you just admitted to) you'd likely agree, I think.

    Any "playing around" with belief and intentional manipulation of one's own deepest feelings through what essentially are self-hypnotic techniques has a risk. That being psychosis. The same risk you run with religion, only possibly even more so. That's why I speak of balance. The yin-yang type. Masculine logical rational versus feminine emotional intuitive. You need the latter to even *see* this shit, and the former to not become a crazy flake about it, and to be able to translate these hard-to-define experiences into a form whereby others might understand them rather than think you're a raving loon.

    Too much masculine and you'll never even see it. Too much feminine and you see things all over the place but can't make any sense of it and go off into your own fantasy world. Or worse.

    It is so very important to approach it in as 'scientific' a manner as is possible given the nonscientific parameters of the problem. You want to glimpse this stuff but not get carried away with it. You want to stay sane, is the point I guess.

    Other than that, no risk or cost whatsoever, as far as I can see.

  109. Philosophy is a bourgeois vocation; only those with too much time on their hands can participate.

  110. Ed, I cannot see your attitude as anything other than completely sane and admirable, sorry.

    I think if you don't see a need for asking the question, maybe you don't need the answer, maybe you're okay as you are.

    I've always wondered about the nature of reality, every single fucking noght of my life. Seriously. Every night for as long as I can remember I'd stare up at my ceiling while laying in bed and see not the ceiling but the stars beyond and just wonder what's out there. I guess it could be called a lifetime obsession.

  111. Philosophy is not a bourgeois vocation, it is a Maslowian one. And I have the time. Hell, I've MADE the time.

  112. I'm still a few rungs from the top of Maslow's heirarchy, so I guess that's a valid assessment... Not that I am dismissing your discussion, just that I have little practical knowledge of it, and not a lot of time to mull it over. I wonder what's out there, too, but I don't see "meaning" or "purpose" as necessary to existence.

  113. I wonder what's out there, too, but I don't see "meaning" or "purpose" as necessary to existence.
    They're not, my friend. They're not. But for some of us poor wretches, they're necessary for peace-of-mind.

  114. We 'talked' Pretty Boy Floyd into giving his 'mommy' a kiss for her birthday.

    Here I'm saying to him, "Give mommy a kiss, give mommy a kiss, it's here birthday!", and he's all... "What? I don't speak English! Are you insane?"

    Then Emma helped out by making kissy sounds and, of course, just as I'm saying, "He probably won't!", over he popped and gave her a kiss!

    Reverse BB Theory, I gave up hope, then he goes and does it... BEAUTIFUL!

    I like birds because they definitely are 'trying' to communicate!

    My 'pic', for example. I had to hold the webcam and get the bird to bow for a kiss on the head WHILE checking for the right angle!

    Not an 'easy' procedure, took a couple of tries. Amazingly, a couple of minutes!

    For the sake of the topic, how does the BB Theory cover those kinds of 'things', in your opinion Brian?

  115. Oh pboy, who the fuck knows... It's cute as hell though, isn't it?

    I think you're on the right track toward balance, since you appreciate the small things like this.

  116. Reverse BB Theory, I gave up hope, then he goes and does it... BEAUTIFUL!
    Okay, WTF, I'll give it a shot.

    You gave up conscious hope, which was actually blocking it from happening, and all the while your feelings were saying "wouldn't it be BEAUTIFUL if it happened?"

  117. Hence, the repeatedly observed tendency for cultures to create a deity. It appears that some of us in this BB meshwork of existance "need" or want to try to 1) understand it all 2) find some "meaning" to the life most of us experience during our sojourn in this plane of existance. Humans generally do not seem to "like" the idea that this life is all there is and that our entire "purpose" in existing is to live long enough to reproduce and, in the case of humans, survive long enough to allow a sufficient number of our offspring to survive so that they can reproduce.
    As we discuss this further, I must admit that the BB theory "allows" for all the philosophical and religious constructs I happen to be familiar with. I can even see that it allows for those of us who see no particular need for any belief, even in the BB theory.
    P.S. Yes, I must admit to being a physician, Brian.

  118. Hey Brian,

    I got a fortune cookie that had some lottery numbers on it. Can you not hope that I hit the big one?

    BTW, the fortune said

    "that wasn't chicken"

    What does that mean?

  119. Conscious hope and wishes and such actually would engender a negative reaction in the "Big Brain" since when you hope, you're not certain, there's no conviction, all you're really doing is envisioning the opposite and hoping that it doesn't happen, which is more likely to bring it on. Instead of hoping that something will happen, you would need to convince yourself that it *will* happen, to the point where it percolates down to your subconscious and creates a *feeling* of certainty.

    Or not, of course. The "I'm all wet" option is still open for quesiton.........

  120. I got a fortune cookie that had some lottery numbers on it. Can you not hope that I hit the big one?
    -Can you? All the while feeling absolutely confident that you will? I certainly can't.

    BTW, the fortune said

    "that wasn't chicken"

    What does that mean?
    -Congratulations. Meow.

  121. My last fortune cookie said, "Shut up, for crying out loud, Woman!(duck)"

    A plateful of chinese food sailed over me(ducking) as I gave it to Emma, saying, "Hey, this one's for YOU!"

  122. Tonight I read some AOL article about Australians and how they really don't like Foster's Lager, and now I'm watching a Ricky Gervais special and guess what he's drinking onstage?

  123. Hmm.. sure Gervais is a SASENACH, but he's the kind of sasenach that we dream of throwing over the cliffs of Dover, not an Aussie or a Newzie.

    (I can 'only hope' that any New Zealander 'hates' being called a Newzie!

    Hey, do you live in New Zealand, well, I'll NEVER meet YOU! LOL, "Newzie"! LOL

  124. I just thought of something else. Another reason that I developed my feminine Yin side enough to ever see this stuff in the first place. I am a jewelry appraiser. When I started that line of work I was 24 and very "Yang" in how I saw life. (So I had many years doing it under my belt when all this spiritual stuff started happening to me.) As I said, I was very Yang (logical rational side) when I started that profession, but it drew out my other half. I had to not only learn all the cool shit that I liked like identifying gemstone species and knowing their refractive indices and hardness and such, and how to use a polariscope or a refractometer, but I also absolutely had to learn how to judge esthetics. (Very important Yin ability) Like, gee, this cameo has a roman nose but the dress has an empire waist and the material is Italian conch and not layered onyx or other hardstone so it's a reproduction circa 1850 of a classical design, good quality for the time, and the design is pleasing... That sort of thing. Esthetics (and describing esthetics (yin) in rational language (yang)) was not only a huge part of my job, but it was required of me to attach a dollar value to beauty. To appraise jewelry is very similar to fine art appraisal at times. Hell, some of it is fine art. Learning to judge nuances of color and the play of light in a gemstone and then say how much that's worth and other similar activities require a person to judge with their Yin side and then communicate that judgement over to their Yang side for verbalization and monetary appraisal. Nothing more Yang than attaching a value to something. So my activites were constantly bridging the Yin-Yang gap.

    I have never realized this before.

  125. Hell, I even had to learn to date hairstyles! As in, look at the hairstype of the woman depicted in a piece of jewelry, say a cameo, and approximate when it was carved by knowing what hairstyles were popular at what times in history.

    Totally mixing Yin and Yang. Such activites eventually necessitate balancing one's self even if one is not aware of it or even caring about it.

  126. The idea of luck is interesting. I know, its magical thinking, but where does that come from?

    People that have to wear their lucky shirt to a presentation or that carry a rabbit's foot may otherwise be completely sane and normal individuals. When someone "touches wood" they're not deemed insane for it.

    I was thinking that it might be rooted in a primitive perception of the importance of being able to change one's own mood about something. To "feel right" about it. Not to merely think it's going to be okay, but to actually get one's self to *feel* it deep down. And ritual leads to belief. Just ask the Church. Acting in the world, actually *doing something* even a useless action symbolizing your intent, makes you *feel* like sometihng will happen, that "it will all work out." And in the Big Brain this optimizes your chances that it indeed *will* all work out.

  127. My mother's luck ritual is a prayer to Saint Anthony. She swears by it. And it does seem to work for her more often than not.

  128. I like to think of luck as a tool for people to use (sub-consciensciously) to help them through good and bad situations.

    I have noticed that a person with a lucky hat, only associates good things with the presence of the hat and bad things with the absence of the hat. The problem is that no one notices the bad things that happen with the hat, and good things that happen in absentia.

    Its almost the same for people who call on god during tough times and blame satan during hardships. Most people fail to notice god during the good times. And no one could believe that satan could possibley cause anything 'cept bad things.

    I am not even touching the whole Big Brain idea. I think it has no basis in science. I like to think of the world as totally random and organic. I think Chaos Theory fits our universe and existence much better. This of course is my opinion only.

  129. brian,

    i just thought you should know that yesterday on tbs (i think) there was an episode of sex and the city where a couple of the chicks go to some seminar about "affirmations"(apparently one of them was trying to use affirmations for her man trouble), it made me think of you.

    for the record: i don't watch sex and the city, it was on when i came in the room, and i changed the channel within 3 minutes :)

  130. Saint Brian,

    Well said. You are not crazy, in fact you are completely correct. I followed the same path of Catholic turned Atheist, turned Agnostic turned Jungian, turned Jungian/Freudian turned Spiritual turned Isolated (I AM.). I freaked out so bad, I took a year off from my life to write a book about it. Here is my shameless plug: www.becominggod.org

    Everything is consciousness and everything has consciousness. Even a rock has consciousness. The balance is awareness of consciousness vs. unawareness of consciousness. The less aware one is, the more real reality appears to be. The more aware one is, the less reality appears to be and the less attachment there is to anything, including the illusion of existing as separateness.

    To understand a collective consciousness, one must first abandon the idea of "We", and recognize that there is only "Me". There is the illusion that there are many of us identifying themselves as "Me", but the truth is, there is only "Me" pretending to be other people (like an actor plays different characters) identifying ones self as "Me". It sounds like an Abbott & Costello routine, but I assure you this is TRUTH, which is a joke in itself, which is why it is known as the "Cosmic Joke."

    There is only the mind, "My Mind". Consciousness "flows" in the "direction" going from (all knowledge) THE SUPERCONSCIOUS, metaphorically represented as my Left brain - flowing to THE ID, (The Random Creative Unconscious), metaphorically represented as my Right brain. The ID eternally Lacks, The Superconscious eternally Provides creating a "Stream" of Conscious thinking. The EGO is MY identity. "I float somewhere on this stream of consciousness asking one eternal question: "How is this present thought Relative to Me?"

    As my EGO "Bobs" up and down on the stream (a wave of thinking) which Scientists are now calling a "Multiverse" - "I" go through 2 levels of consciousness: As I ride the wave below and into the stream, my conscious Identity is "Ford" and I experience the throught. As my EGO bobs, riding the wave "above" the stream, my subconscious Identifies itself as the entire Conscious system "God", if you will. But, it is all the same identity.

    Keep in mind this stream is a metaphor. It exist everywhere and it is nowhere, because time and space are themselves constructs of the stream (multiverse). Time and space are like "you" just an idea. Earth is an idea, physics are an idea, religion is an idea, everything I have ever related to is just an idea; and like the curious young man at the beginning of this post, Ideas and positions change. This change is based entirely on my present emotional state.

    Experience is whatever you emotionally expect to experience, because it is being emanated from you as its being experience. In other words, experience is merely the manifestation of my current emotional state. Change your feelings, change the world because the world is just you. Everything is connected provided that you can remember that it is. The trick is holding onto the connection.

    This illusion is fantastic, but keep in mind everything is illusion. Because Time and Space are themselves constructs of your mind and existence is immortal. Thinking immortally makes it is easy to detach ones-self from anything in your present experience, because on the scale of the infinite, good or bad, its just a "blip". Thinking eternally makes it impossible to even see things as good or bad, there is only pleasant or unpleasant, and even this can and will change with your emotional state.

    Brian, you are probably going to ask how I can be so matter of fact about this and the answer is because this is what I have come to believe and so it is.


  131. Actually Ford I wasn't even going to ask that. You've said what I feel is true also, albeit I am not at quite the level of certitude as you are.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  132. Valid observations about the hat, Stefan. All true. The person tends to only associate the good stuff witht the hat and not the bad...

    I was saying that the idea of luck might be an almost instinctual attempt to change one's own mood. Such blind attempts can hardly be expected to work consistently, so it becomes difficult to tell what good luck might be "the hat's fault" and what isn't... lol...

    All I know is, when I FEEL CERTAIN about something happenning, it tends to happen with great consistency. But in order to feel that certain I have to expend a lot of effort in defeating my own doubts.

    As I've said to pboy, I totally respect anyone that can't buy into this. It is after all, completely incredible in both the positive and negative senses of the word. And I also see that science and particularly chaos theory describes this reality very well. (I even see fractals in my BB theory.) I think that either science and chaos theory is the complete picture, or it's only a part of it. The BB after all will provide structure for us when we look for it. And chaos theory isn't the first such structure it's provided for us. Before chaos, there were other theories. We needed to explain more things, so we found a new worldview. This can happen again, you know.

    In fact if you go through my (somewhat expansive now) photo gallery on the right of the main page of this blog and click on the little planet earth that has fractal designs on half of it, you'll go to a page on the fractal structure of the universe. An interesting read, even for you Stefan. No BB theory there, I don't think, just the science.

  133. In fact, here's the link so you don't have to look for the picture.

  134. True, anticipating or caring for that matter, of what "You" were going to say was just "me" falling for the illusion once again. It's sooo easy to get sucked in and to pretend that I have no control.

    I completely agree with the article about fractals. (Great article by the way) I see fractals as the path in which the stream of consciousness flows. Thoughts flow into splits of duality. Every new thought presents a choice. If the choices could be seen from a perspective (dimension) outside from the observer who is making the choice, they would see the pattern flowing in symmetry. Each choice presenting a new choice growing infinitely complex or so complex that the choice holds no entertainment anymore and the thought is abandoned, replaced by an entirely new idea.

  135. "the hat's fault"


    I thought we were 'creating' a deal!

    NOW, I'm sulking!

    I had intended to tell you some of MY 'story' that 'ought' to make a believer out of me!

    But, WTF! This isn't my blog, and IN SPITE of all the 'synchronicities' that happened to me, I just look at it from the 'REAL' POV.

  136. Pboy, I certainly meant in no way to discourage you from telling your story. Please do. I remember you talking about synchronicities before, and I want to hear it all now. And I don't care if you "believe" or not. I'm presenting a viewpoint that I think *may* be a valid one, as much for my edification as for anything else. I learn from you all the time. I value that. No matter what. So fire away, and if you can destroy my edifice, hesitate not, young soldier. I will survive somehow. :-)

  137. Okay then.

    If you 'insist'.

    I grew up in Scotland and when I came to North America, the 'Eagles' had just put out their album which included the song, "New kid in town"!

    Now there's lots of 'shit' before that, example:- my dad was in the SAS and every time he got drunk(every weekend) HE would go on and on about how HE was a paratrooper.

    My mom would counter with "Jackie(my uncle, her brother) jumped!"

    Unrelatedly(it seemed), my friends Ronald Ronald, Jim Christie and I joined the TAVR(Territorial Army Volunteer Reserves)!

    Well! You'll 'never' guess which kind of soldiers that that happened to be!

    Needless to say, my dad got drunk and started harping how HE jumped, my mom parroted how 'Jackie' jumped.. then my dad looked at me and ... "Oh! Yea!... You.. "(I just smiled!)

  138. Your family places more importance on jumping than do the Orthoptera.

  139. Brian,

    Thanks for the nudge. Your post spawned some questions for me, rather than a, "oh that's just silly" reaction; or anything else somewhat negative.

    The first is the specific one on one interaction between individuals. If this is a collective how are individual interactions isolated from the whole?

    The second is the constraints of physis, and the lack of power in mind (or the mind) to create a reality. What do you do with that?

    Thirdly, you, in an odd way, take up Parmenides' 'thought and being are the same' theme. If that were the case why is our capacity for thought and being limited?

    And last, what contains our whole? Your theory still leaves the old question of primary cause up in the air.

    The only critique of your theory I would have pertains to the last question. To indeed build a metaphysics, some of those questions that you are asking of the individual participants in the whole (us), should be applied to the explanation.

    We can hope it doesn't end in infinite regress no?

  140. So like, you didn't know that the TAVR were paratroopers, and that's tha coincidence here? Just trying to clarify... I'm liking the story.

  141. Oneblood, thank you for responding, and I am going to have to defer adressing your questions till tomorrow, since I will have to literally look up and absorb some of the things that you refer to first. (Alas, I am primarily an autodidact)

    In other words I cannot address your questions properly until I 'study up' on them. You certainly know how to ask good questions. I just wanted to at least acknowledge them now.

    Thanks again.

  142. pboy,

    I don't know quite why, buy you being scottish makes a lot of sense to me.

  143. "Your family places more importance on jumping than do the Orthoptera."

    If you'd followed the story, you'd have noticed that my dad placed ZERO importance on me, my mom placed ZERO importance on me and I really didn't give a fuck.

    The TAVR consisted of differing units. Not necessarilly parachutists.

    Scotland is small, but it's not like 'small town' small, if you see what I mean.

    LOL oneblood,you 'had a feeling' did you? 'Sounds like Brian's BB theory to me!

  144. If you'd followed the story, you'd have noticed that my dad placed ZERO importance on me, my mom placed ZERO importance on me and I really didn't give a fuck.
    Of course you did. Who wouldn't? You just taught yourself to "not give a fuck" on the surface so as not to be further hurt by them, and who could blame you? What you have to understand of course is that their not "giving a fuck" about you was no reflection on you personally. They were just not capable of giving a fuck about anything. No matter what you did, they wouldn't have been happy with it. That's the nature of their delusion. Stop it from being your delusion too. You were worthy; they on the other hand, were not.

    Its your job as a thinking aware human to not let that continue past this generation, past your generation. You know that, right?

    Hey, my word verification is "HEIST..." Cool.

  145. Its your job as a thinking aware human to not let that continue past this generation, past your generation. You know that, right?



    You are right on the money. As I'm trying to do this, it feels like it's a microcosm of what a real hero might feel like. Beset on all sides by familial and cultural self-righteousness, hoping that you're doing the right thing by standing up to their indifference and not harming others by the strife that comes in this action's wake...

    When you try to be humanistic, or religious with compassion as your focus, you're trying to deal with all the information and consequences that most of the populace learned to accept long ago. It's tiring to be sure.

    And then! And then I say! You have to deal with your own screw ups to boot. Oy gevalt (said with no exclamation, just a slight trailing off).

  146. pboy,

    It was your cross of sass and logic. That can happen in any culture, I just associate it with the UK and by extension Scotland, and Ireland

  147. Sass:

    Does that term have feminine connotations only, or can it be used generally? If it is mainly feminine, what is the masculine equivalent?

  148. Okay, I'll try again.

    The point of that story was how 'connected' it all seemed without it being 'actually' connected.

    Like Brian's synchronicities really.

    My dad had his thing, mom had hers and I arrived at that point in time through my friends, nothing to do with my parents, you see.

    As it turned out, it kind of threw a bucket of water on my dad's favorite rant.(yada, yada SAS!), my mom was totally unphased, and parrotted her standard response.

    I laugh at oneblood's response because it seems so stereotyping.(no offence meant by that remark, oneblood)

    Everyone else seems to be getting something out of that story that wasn't meant to be in there.

    I 'went with' Emma when I first came to America and we were discussing that on Saturday when we were killing all the beer that our guests wouldn't drink.

    I explained that it was fate that we'd be together in the end after she got her youngest son.

    She seems happy to think that, and accordingly, I'm sure that Brian could 'fit that in' with the BB Theory!

    Looked up cross of 'sass' to try to decipher the meaning of oneblood's 'mystery'!(shrug)

  149. Looked up cross of 'sass' to try to decipher the meaning of oneblood's 'mystery'!(shrug)


    Man, you are so spot on sometimes. Stop making me laugh!

    As per stereotyping you are correct. Many apologies.

  150. Hello again Oneblood... I've done some thinking about your questions.

    The first is the specific one on one interaction between individuals. If this is a collective how are individual interactions isolated from the whole?
    -It is only a collective at the deepest subconscious level. On the surface we are all individuals, as much as it is possible to be. We believe that we are individuals and have no clear proof that we're not, so we act accordingly.

    The second is the constraints of physis, and the lack of power in mind (or the mind) to create a reality. What do you do with that?
    -Not sure how you mean that but the power to create is in the Big Brain and we are a part of that so we have it too. The BB creates all reality and sometimes we, being integreal parts of it and with wills of our own, can get reality to make exceptions to itself by creating patterns in our minds that cause the bigger "metapattern" that is reality to "flex" just a bit. Creating reality is what the BB does, and is.

    Thirdly, you, in an odd way, take up Parmenides' 'thought and being are the same' theme. If that were the case why is our capacity for thought and being limited?
    -I looked that up, and you're right, I do. Our capacity is limited by the world-dream itself. There are rules established in this dream. Everyone has to believe that it’s not a dream, that it’s real. Plus, some people do have a greater capacity for thought and being than others do. Just not to the point where they are superhuman. That would violate the rules.

    And last, what contains our whole? Your theory still leaves the old question of primary cause up in the air.
    -It’s all consciousness. No need for it to even have a beginning, if that’s all there is and ever has been. There's no "inside" or "outside" to this mental universe. It's all there is. I mean, it s all pure consciousness, not a *thing* that needs to have a beginning and an end, and it can't have a location because all locations are a part of the illusion. No real space is required to contain it since all space is unreal and “in our minds” in the first place. Time is a factor of the dream as well, and not the underlying reality, which is essentially timeless but changes and evolves and creates time itself as it does so. It is born of nothingness and is composed of nothingness but it’s a fertile kind of nothingness that produces everything. Not as matter of course, but as data, as patterns of consciousness with no REAL existence per se, but since that’s all WE Are as well, to us they’re real and so are we. It's as real as anything ever gets, albeit not real at all.

    The only critique of your theory I would have pertains to the last question. To indeed build a metaphysics, some of those questions that you are asking of the individual participants in the whole (us), should be applied to the explanation.
    -I hope that I’ve addressed it. If I didn’t it’s because I didn’t understand the question, oh brainiac.

  151. There is no such thing as time. There is only the "dream" and since we need it to change and evolve there is time.

    There is no such thing as space. There is only the "dream" and since we need to be able to move about within it, there is space.

    There is no such thing as matter. There is only the "dream" and since we need things to be tangible and to exist with some degree of permanence, there is matter.

    All of these things have no meaning outside of the "dream." There is no "real" matter or "real" space or "real" time. Only our concepts of what these things should be.

  152. Anybody else wondering what effect it would have on someone to read this comment thread while on LSD?

    I am not random.

  153. On LSD?

    That would prove interesting I think. I've never done hallucinnogens, but I think it might freak some people out to read this thread on them.

    I should put in a disclaimer.

  154. And I never said that you were random. It is quite possible that you are completely intentional. As in, your own intent. As in, you chose the dream, and the body, and even possibly the scenario. That part's a bit unclear of course, and might not be the case.

  155. Chose my body? Damn...I didn't think I hated myself that much! :P

  156. One author explained the concept of manifesting a desire as a factor of our reality having a fractal structure. Your desire is a thought-pattern, and the result that you wish to manifest is one of many possible future "thought patterns" since this reality is made of thought, and the future desired result is attracted to the pattern that you've created in your head.

    Not sure if I buy into that though. Seems unnecessarily complex.

  157. Yeah, the more I think about it the less sense that makes. The choosing bodies thing. Too much like karma, another thing I don't think has a basis in reality.

    More like our bodies are manifested by the "dreaming" of others that went before us; our parents, the rest of humanity etc. Then once manifested they have to develop their own self-awareness because that is their (our) nature. So no previous individual personality like that ever existed before. (no reincarnation, no karma) The unique vehicle produces the unique personality. But keep in mind that all personalities are laid over the one sense-of-identity in this universe, there being only one of them that we all share. We are in reality at our most basic level "of one body and mind" with the rest of the universe, and so share in its identity. We only take on individual personalities in this "dream."

  158. I should mention that while there is technically no reincarnation in the Big Brain, it is possible to have the identical effect.

    Since we literally have been all other people in the past that have ever lived, in certain circumstances it may be possible to access real information from one of their lives, then possibly developing an obsession with it, thereby intensifying the belief factor, and thus allowing us to access even more, causing us to become convinced that we were in fact that other person in a previous life.

  159. Brian,

    I guess I should clarify and say that I am open to non-scientific views on the universe. I believe that chaos theory is just a small part of the explanation of how the universe works.

    I also believe that there will never be a full explanation of how our universe works. Those that think they have a clue (such as how big the universe actually is, whether its expanding/contracting) are really just guessing, albiet maybe intelligently. And I like to think that maybe its better that we dont know.

    What happens when all knowledge becomes known? What happens when there is no more mystery? I think it helps people imagine better. Then people can hold onto ideas like luck, instead or knowing that hitting that home run is just a combination of eye and muscle coordination along with body mass, breathing, air temperature, humidity and wind speed and direction.

    "I just got a lucky hit"

  160. But what if the mystery is knowable, and sets you free?

    I know, I know... Silly idealist me. Literally.

  161. Then its not a mystery anymore and ceases to inspire the imagination to wander.

    I just think that it is good not to know "everything" so that that spark that drives us isnt extinguished. People need the unknown so that they dont fall into complacency.

    If you knew what everyday of your life would be like, it wouldnt be much fun, just like if you knew how a movie was going to end, you probably wouldnt go see it.

    I think mystery can set you free. Knowing doesnt always do that, knowing can chain you down.

  162. It will always be a mystery to those unaware. Worrying about the knowing removing the magic of inspiration is just a fear. The universe, multiverse, big brain, is infinitely abundant. New perspectives (bodies) are born or are manifested into existence all of the time. Each one has to go through their own progression to become aware. This progression can take many life times.

    Becoming Aware does anything but remove the magic and imagination. Instead it lifts it to new heights beyond anything we are already familiar with. KNOWING that anything is possible allows for far more creativeness and ingenuity then hoping that anything is possible.

    Today we create our homes, our little space and go about our required routines. Imagine a world where you create your own universe. A universe beyond the limitation of physics and a routine that is shaped at your whim. This is where imagination is really put to the test. We have merely scratched the surface. OUr present imagination is stressed when we have to decide basic things like, "What do you want to do this weekend?" Where do you want to eat? What to watch on T.V.?" Can you imagine the stress of having limitless possibility? Can you imagine the fun? Can you imagine how much you would grow? Can you imagine how much you would contribute to the complexity of the collective consciousness?

    We are babies. And like children we should be grateful for the innocence and guidance that we have now. With adolescence comes freedom beyond our imagination but responsibility to make it worth while.

    BTW, I am a regular participant of psychedelics and I find this blog to be wildly entertaining.


  163. Okay, I'll try again.

    The point of that story was how 'connected' it all seemed without it being 'actually' connected.

    Like Brian's synchronicities really.

    My dad had his thing, mom had hers and I arrived at that point in time through my friends, nothing to do with my parents, you see.
    Okay, I get it now.

    Did you ever think that since being a "jumper" is so significant in your family that your subconscious was predisposed toward that occupation? And so attained it for you? Just a thought...

  164. "Did you ever think that since being a "jumper" is so significant in your family.."

    Well, I DID mention that it was my dad's 'claim to fame' and my mom's reply was his 'foil'.

    My thing was a total 'wet blanket' as far as he was concerned.

    Honestly, it's like falling off a log. It's easier than falling off a log because they teach you landing techniques so as not to get hurt!

    The thing that most impressed me about the whole thing was the total waste of money from my personal perspective, that is.

    I'm not saying that 'we' ought not to have been prepared in some way for the Russians to commence WW III, just that, doing 'exercises' I could NOT HELP thinking that those rounds(bullets to you) were damned expensive!

    Okay.. on to my original thought.

    Where does the BB Theory 'fit in' with reality?

    Your, mine and everyone else's BLOOD AND GUTS reality! Death comes in all variety from totally unexpectable accident(rock from the sky) to deliberate premeditated execution and all 'shades of grey' inbetween.

    Judging by our history, each of us wants to band toghether and wipe out another band of us, to a greater or lesser extent!

    I KNOW that this is work-around-able to fit the BB Theory, but what's the point?

    What's the difference?

    Reality - BB Theory = some unexplained 'possible' phenomena that the BB Theory might have explained.

    Geez, I'm even willing to admit that it's 'better' than theism! But I think that that just shows how barmy I think that theism is.

    The 'Atheist Plaque' fiasco, for example. They got 500 people together to say that, basically, they didn't understand Barker's(was it Barker?) point that if Christians were permitted a display in public, atheists ought to be permitted a display.

    I think that his point went "WOOOSSSHHH!", right over their heads and a good deal of atheist's heads too!

  165. Pboy said:
    The 'Atheist Plaque' fiasco, for example. They got 500 people together to say that, basically, they didn't understand Barker's(was it Barker?) point that if Christians were permitted a display in public, atheists ought to be permitted a display.
    I didn't know about that. Interesting. I googled it and the wrticle I landed on includes an interview about the subject with guess who? Dinesh D'Souza! Wanna get pissed off?

  166. The dream is in the process of changing, as it always is. But now it is changing from the old paradigm of kill-or-be-killed and nature red in tooth and claw, or dominance of the animal nature, to a new paradigm of co-operation and the realization of our "brotherhood" and the value of the mind in co-operation with other minds as opposed to mere brute force in acheiving one's ends. The era of peace is at hand. Just another few more millennia or so... The old way is still common, and the new is still rare and fragile like most nascent things, but it will prevail in time. The dream cannot change all at once, because people do not change all at once. In fact in many cases, people do not change at all.

  167. I read Marcia Segelstein's interview in Salvo.

    Posted a few comments trashing their POV. They are in a world of their own and absolutely incorrigible.

    D'Souza basically says in his book that we are all Satanic.


    I guess atheists are not supposed to read that far through his crappy book to notice, but good ol' Marcia points it out for her fellow Christians! LOL

  168. Geez, I'm even willing to admit that it's 'better' than theism! But I think that that just shows how barmy I think that theism is.
    I am gratified. Now if you'll just give me your credit card number we can get your salvation under way here...


    Back to the Salvo article, it's a real test of my patience to read such monolithic denseness. They're all like greedy babies. All "Id." Its so tiresome. What part of "a-theist" don't they understand? If we don't believe in your god, that doesn't mean that we're in league with your devil, it means that we think BOTH are asinine.

  169. Brian, the reasons you give for your BB conjecture actually support traditional Thomism much better. Not only that, but Thomism has the benefit of being coherent! ;) You're like one reading of the Summa Contra Gentiles away from becoming a Christian! (It's online!)

  170. Not only that, but Thomism has the benefit of being coherent! ;)
    LOL!!! Hey, that's like how Catholicism is a lot like atheism only atheism has the benefit of not requiring that one be delusional! LOL!!!

    No seriously, now I'll have to go look up "Thomism." Thanks a whole helluva lot.


    Glad you stopped by. Always interesting.

  171. Ahh, silly of me. Of course. Aquinas.

    Never studied him.

    Dense stuff. Reads like utter bullshit. No seriously. I'm sure that I'm not "getting it" though. Silly me. But I would not buy a car from that man, and don't you.

    First causes, Christian worldview, and yet somehow the BB is like this? In that it's a worldview, you mean? Other than that, I'm afraid that its incumbent upon you to elucidate. If you truly wish to become a teacher of this stuff, you can consider me your most recalcitrant pupil, and therefore a valuable practice tool. I jest of course, but seriously, since I can't absorb Aquinas in a night, you must explain it to me and how it's more "coherent" somehow when it reads like the babblings of a confused grammarian. The relevant parts, at any rate. You can't just drop a philosophy bomb and walk away, you pedantic terrorist you.

    (My scorn masks a genuine desire to learn, which masks more scorn, but under that second layer of scorn, I really am curious...)

  172. Skimming the "SCG" as we afficionados like to call it, I find that there aren't even many chapter titles that I can agree with. I'm more deeply puzzled here and not less. Of course I'm sure that it's only a simple case of me tasting not deeply enough of the Pierian spring...

  173. (My, but I am in a saucy mood tonight, aren't I?)

  174. Eric, my "one step away from being a Christian" is about one parsec tall.

    The hypothetically supposed "Big Brain Theory" presupposes Christianity as one of many congratulatory mass self-delusions (religions) in this giant dream we all share. The BB will give you what you expect, so if you expect Yaweh that's what you get, but if I then expect a malleable universe and I GET THAT, then I'm closer to reality than you are since my explanation explains yours but yours can't explain mine. Belief in an anthropomorphic god is after all, when you really think about it, about as silly as belief in the Easter Bunny. How vain of us silly apes! How lacking in perspective! We are so young as a species. How we caper and cavort!

  175. "But I would not buy a car from that man, and don't you."

    Only rarely does something I've read on these sorts of blog posts truly get me to laugh out loud; you just did it, though! (I don't mean that in a mean way; the fleeting image of Aquinas selling cars just did it for me...)

    Seriously, though, it's *extremely* difficult to explain Aquinas over short blog posts. Aquinas builds on Aristotle's philosophy (which is not to be confused, in any way, with his erroneous 'scientific' views, which aren't in any sense necessitated by his philosophy), and learning Aristotle is similar to learning a new language! Never mind the new terms and phrases: the real difficulty is learning to think very differently about everyday words like 'causation' and 'matter.' However, it's well worth the investment in time, even if you end up disagreeing with him.

    I just tried to provide a very brief summary of Aquinas, but it was horrible, and unfortunately I don't have time to work out a better one. To do anything more than a summary would require a number of extremely long posts, and you'd be better off checking out some of the expert sources on the web in any case. Anyway, take it as a lead: Thomism is a 'mind first' way of viewing and understanding the world (in the sense that the divine 'mind,' which is obviously grander than any BB, has ontological primacy over everything; also, certain fundamental aspects of the world can only be explained as the 'attributes' of a mind; surely, this view is more in line with your way of thinking than crude materialism). Note, this position is *rigorously* argued for, not assumed, not based on 'the bible,' etc.

    I have to stress again: when you're reading Aquinas' arguments, *don't make the mistake of interpreting everyday words like 'cause' in their everyday sense*; they have a very technical meaning when Aquinas uses them. This is why so many people today -- even trained philosophers! -- think his arguments are easily refuted. Unless you've put a bit of work into Aristotle and Aquinas, you simply can't understand the arguments!

    If you find this interesting, look into it; if not, hey, I can understand why many wouldn't. Just consider it a lead from someone who saw some parallels between it and your own views, and who thought you might find it interesting.

  176. We are so shortsighted and vain. We write "And God created us in His own image" when we're not really that well-designed physically and we're obviously not all there yet mentally either. (Sad image for a God)

    We're so obviously a "work in progress" and due to that very insufficiency we are stupid enough to think we're complete and perfect. Like God, even. Pride.

    We needed to look like God in order to prove to us our own worthiness and rectitude. Our "holiness." Its all pride. Low, base emotions dressed up in high-sounding words. Our need to be significant and important. Silly, really. Childish. We need to believe in God and that we're on His team and that we're in His club and that we're special and saved and *generally better than the rest of humanity* or else we may have to face the fact that we're actually a lot like other people no matter their religious beliefs. How horrible. We cling to our religion as a last bastion of pride. It makes us special, and if we think we're special enough, maybe we can even love ourselves. That feels good. And maybe we can also loathe the unbelievers together and thus bond in brotherly xenophobia, in God's name, Amen. That feels good, too.

  177. (in the sense that the divine 'mind,' which is obviously grander than any BB,
    Ahh Hubris. I love the sound.

  178. Perhaps Aquinas had a "mind first" way of looking at things, but to him it was always presupposed that said mind was the mind of God, no?

    I beg to differ.

    And of course by God he no doubt meant the Christian God, no? Rather myopic, don't you think? When so many other choices were available? Oh well, he was up for Saint, after all. Politics.

  179. Nevertheless Brian, you studied Kabballa, Qabbala, or looking at your bottom picture, as I have come to think of it, Cue-ball-a!

    You might be able to use some of this esoteric jargon to prop up your theory.

    Much like scientists do it all the time to make their studies seem 'beyond the normal' way of thinking.

    Rxample. Electricity flows from negative to positive.

    Butterflies are NOT moths although it IS certain moths that come to cooling butter-milk for a drink.

    Seems if you want to understand something that others want to be essentially 'revealed mystery' you must learn their jargon, because they want to imagine that they 'think' differently.

    Long ago theists learned that we are subjective when we think we must be.

    Decartes', "I think therefore I am." is a nod to religion in that we cannot prove that objective reality is 'out there'.

    But it is obvious to everyone that objective reality IS 'out there' and, "I think therefore I am.", really means, "I think because I am a thinking being that exists in the three dimensions of space and through time.

    Eric cannot prove me wrong, but he can try to convince me that I am misusing 'his' jargon.

    The truth is that you cannot prove anything to me and I cannot prove anything to you.

    But you can put on one helluva performance convincing others, isn't that right?

  180. How about a huge compromise.

    Yes! There is Yahweh(nicer now than in the OT, of course) there is the multiple Hindu gods, Allah is there for the Muslims(help!) and the Big Brain is there for you!

    No-one is 'sure' what is there for the agnostics(they won't say!) and there is NO GOD at all for the atheists!

    We all get to congratulate each other for our part in history. If we had all believed in one God and one doctrine/dogma/whatever else, then we'd never squabble, never advance!

    So we all get to pat ourselves on the back for that and move on to just and fair for all justice!

    It wouldn't work because the Jews and Arabs would still want to chop the tips of their kids pee-pees off.

    Darn it! A good idea chopped off at the tip!

  181. Unless you've put a bit of work into Aristotle and Aquinas, you simply can't understand the arguments!
    Poor me. And yet why is it that I feel the better for it? Oh yes, its because the arguments are ridiculously convoluted for the sake of being convoluted. Obfuscation over communication. Like I said, bullshit. Don't buy the car, man.

    Oh, you already bought one. Tough luck. Well, maybe you can sell it the same way...

    Big Brain is simple. And when we talk about it we don't have to redefine common words beyond recognition and create our own glossary. Aquinas is very complicated but it doesn't say much and what it does is incessantly repeated. Truth simple, lie complicated. See?

    Oh, and they should have named it "Aquinism" and not "Thomism." It's stupid to use his first name like that. Unnecessarily unclear, like his writings.

  182. You'll note that I attempt to spare you all any jargon. It serves no useful purpose other than to impress the weakminded and and confuse the intelligent, and I merely wish to communicate.

    So no Pboy, no jargon. No need for it.

    I'm not trying to lie.

  183. But it is obvious to everyone that objective reality IS 'out there' and, "I think therefore I am.", really means, "I think because I am a thinking being that exists in the three dimensions of space and through time.
    Obvious? Why? Because you can sense them? So what? I sense things in my sleeping dreams that aren't real... Why not my waking one?

    If you were Keanu, you would have chosen the red pill, wouldn't you have?

  184. Seems if you want to understand something that others want to be essentially 'revealed mystery' you must learn their jargon, because they want to imagine that they 'think' differently.
    Good observation pboy. Valid point.

  185. (I mean, Thomism sounds like the worship of english muffins)

    (all praise the holy nooks and crannies which in their mercy, doth provide sanctuary for the yummy melted butter, amen.)

  186. Let's try jargon.

    Isaac Newton believed in the Hermetic tradition and so came to understand the words of Hermes Trismegistus from the Emerald Tablet. In fact the following is Newton's translation of same:

    It is true without lying, certain and most true. That which is Below is like that which is Above and that which is Above is like that which is Below to do the miracles of the Only Thing. And as all things have been and arose from One by the mediation of One, so all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation. The Sun is its father; the Moon its mother; the Wind hath carried it in its belly; the Earth is its nurse. The father of all perfection in the whole world is here. Its force or power is entire if it be converted into Earth. Separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, sweetly with great industry. It ascends from the Earth to the Heavens and again it descends to the Earth and receives the force of things superior and inferior. By this means you shall have the glory of the whole world and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you. Its force is above all force, for it vanquishes every subtle thing and penetrates every solid thing. So was the world created. From this are and do come admirable adaptations, whereof the process is here in this. Hence am I called Hermes Trismegistus, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world. That which I have said of the operation of the Sun is accomplished and ended.

    Seems simple enough to me...

  187. (Jargon, cont...)

    Or of course the word VITRIOL gives us clues. Visita interiore terrae, rectificando invenies occultum lapidem... Just make sure that you do the rectificando part right or you're screwed and you'll never know it.

  188. Of course, "our gold is not the common gold..."

    "Aurum nostrum non est aurum vulgi..."

    This must always be remembered when interpreting these writings.

    And the stone is the gold is the prize.

    Thus the interior of the earth is the interior, but the earth is not the earth.

    It's really the rectificando that people have all the problems with.

    How'm I doin, Pboy?

  189. However pboy, I think I'm doing it all wrong. I mean, I'm using jargon but if you asked me to explain it to you in simple words I actually think that I could. So obviously I need to find even more obscure jargon and spend even more years studying it.

  190. Oh, and as to the name "Yaweh."

    Apparently the name, from the Hebrew yod-heh-vav-heh, was traditionally considered to be unpronounceable and later rendered as "Yaweh" or "Jehova" but we have recently discovered from the new "Dead Brain" scrolls discovered in the desert sands near Amarillo, Texas, that the correct pronunciation is actually "YEEHAW!" so as it turns out George Bush was right.

  191. Nevertheless Brian, you studied Kabballa, Qabbala, or looking at your bottom picture, as I have come to think of it, Cue-ball-a!
    Cute. Very funny, actually. Yer' a creative sob arentcha?

    Odd layout though. How do you "rack" that?

    Hey, it kinda looks like one of those trick pre-set layouts where the player sinks all ten balls with one stroke.

    Unity. One stroke. How appropriate.