Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Y to the rescue...

WBF: Nobody rubbed me up the wrong way. Raine's comment was pretty spot on as to the confusion I find myself in at present. It has catalysed a whole lotta thought, and I'll be relplying to her insightful questions in another post.

Today I'm gonna comment on what anonymous said , also a much valued comment. Your comments were almost identical to what Carey's psychologist friend said to him in "The Number 23" movie. And thanks for pointing to the excellent article on schizo and religion*. Excellent reading, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in this pivotal meaningless coincidences/ meaningful coincidences debate. It is a difficult to argue with.

However, I'd like to throw a "curved ball." The author of the article kept referring to evolution. I certainly don't disagree with evolution as a scientific theory, but here's a passage that I wrote in my first book (verbatim):

The question I was looking at was, "Why?". An extremely interesting question, it stands alone in a unique category, apart from the wheres?, whens?, whos?, whats?, whiches? and hows? of the world. These questions merely provide information on the co-ordinates of an entity or event in space and time. They do not give any real meaning about the thing itself. "Why?", on the other hand, digs deeper. "Why?" seeks reasons and reasons are more meaningful than co-ordinates.

A good way to illustrate the unique nature of "Why?" is to apply the full spectrum of questions to evolution (a fitting topic because it surely rates as one of the greatest theories of western science). Evolution explains when life began, which life began, where life began, and even how life began. But ask an evolutionist why life began and you will be met by a stunned silence.

Strange word "why". FOr one thing it's got no vowels. And when you say it out loud it's got a strangley familiar ring to it...

* I'd also recommend reading about "Apophenia", a very central topic to this whole issue (and the article which originally led me to "The Number 23" movie in the first place . The movie was listed along with "A Beautiful Mind" and a "Pi" (another of my favs) and a few other movies strong on the Aphophenia angle. Also William Gobson and Thomas Pynchon were mentioned in fiction (fckn good company!))


  1. I think the problem with "why" (as opposed to "when?, who?, what?, which? and how?") has to do with the way it is posed here.

    Simply put, any answer to "why" generally emerges as a kind of by-product to the answers of the other words as they relate to human hope, interest and need. Otherwise we get hopelessly mired in unfalsifiable theory and question-begging.

    "Why" is a meaning-seeking question, the others scientific questions seeking (and requiring) evidence.

    I suspect the stunned silence you hear from evolutionists stems from their politely refusing to point-out the irrelevance of the philosophical "why" to the work at hand.

    I am reminded of Laplace handing Napoleon a copy of his book "The System of the World". When Napoleon asked why he had not mentioned God in it, Laplace respectfully anwswered, "Sir, I have no need of that hypothesis.”

    BPG: You are not hearing this from a birthright atheist. I've come to these conclusions after years of extensive involvement with western occultism. While I have had many similar experiences to yours and share your illness, there is nothing I have experienced or encountered that was not somehow "equivocal" in the (so-called) psychic or paranormal realm.

    It's instructive to recall that occultist Dion Fortune forbade any with mental illness to study with her fraternity. Shamanistic genetics notwithstanding, she was well aware from her experience as a lay psychoanalyst how those with mental illness would interpret her material and in which direction they would run with it.

    Your Friend

  2. I really enjoyed the article about science, religion and evolution, etc.

    As you know I have Schizo-Affective disorder and I am quite religious. However, I'm not fundamentalist by any means.

    I am a Buddhist and thus believe in past lives. I was told once by a very trusted seer that I was a Native American Shaman in a past life. As well as one in Africa.

    It makes sense as I'm really interested in Shamanic healing and mystical experiences.

  3. That was a hecka interesting article and I think you have a valid point about "why". I also think it is basic human nature to seek meaning.

  4. I'm so glad you were able to take my comments in the spirit they were intended. Thank you for that.


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