Underlies Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
For a considerable portion of humanity today, it is possible and indeed likely that one's neighbor, one's colleague, or one's employer will have a different mother tongue, eat different food, and follow a different religion than oneself. It is a matter of great urgency, therefore, that we find ways to cooperate with one another in a spirit of mutual acceptance and respect. In such a world, I feel, it is vital for us to find genuinely sustainable and universal approach to ethics, inner values, and personal integrity-an approach that can transcend religious, cultural, and racial differences and appeal to people at a sustainable, universal approach is what I call the project of secular ethics. All religions, therefore, to some extent, ground the cultivation of inner values and ethical awareness in some kind of metaphysical (that is, not empirically demonstrable) understanding of the world and of life after death. And just as the doctrine of divine judgment underlies ethical teachings in many theistic religions, so too does the doctrine of karma and future lives in non-theistic religions. As I see it, spirituality has two dimensions. The first dimension, that of basic spiritual well-being-by which I mean inner mental and emotional strength and balance-does not depend on religion but comes from our innate human nature as beings with a natural disposition toward compassion, kindness, and caring for others. The second dimension is what may be considered religion-based spirituality, which is acquired from our upbringing and culture and is tied to particular beliefs and practices. The difference between the two is something like the difference between water and tea. On this understanding, ethics consists less of rules to be obeyed than of principles for inner self-regulation to promote those aspects of our nature which we recognize as conducive to our own well-being and that of others. It is by moving beyond narrow self-interest that we find meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.

Dalai Lama XIV
When tragedy established itself in England it did so in terms of plots and spectacle that had much more to do with medieval apocalypse than with the mythos and opsis of Aristotle. Later, tragedy itself succumbs to the pressure of 'demythologizing'; the End itself, in modern literary plotting loses its downbeat, tonic-and-dominant finality, and we think of it, as the theologians think of Apocalypse, as immanent rather than imminent. Thus, as we shall see, we think in terms of crisis rather than temporal ends; and make much of subtle disconfirmation and elaborate peripeteia. And we concern ourselves with the conflict between the deterministic pattern any plot suggests, and the freedom of persons within that plot to choose and so to alter the structure, the relation of beginning, middle, and end. Naively predictive apocalypses implied a strict concordance between beginning, middle, and end. Thus the opening of the seals had to correspond to recorded historical events. Such a concordance remains a deeply desired object, but it is hard to achieve when the beginning is lost in the dark backward and abysm of time, and the end is known to be unpredictable. This changes our views of the patterns of time, and in so far as our plots honour the increased complexity of these ways of making sense, it complicates them also. If we ask for comfort from our plots it will be a more difficult comfort than that which the archangel offered Adam: How soon hath thy prediction, Seer blest, Measur'd this transient World, the race of Time, Till time stands fix'd. But it will be a related comfort. In our world the material for an eschatology is more elusive, harder to handle. It may not be true, as the modern poet argues, that we must build it out of 'our loneliness and regret'; the past has left us stronger materials than these for our artifice of eternity. But the artifice of eternity exists only for the dying generations; and since they choose, alter the shape of time, and die, the eternal artifice must change. The golden bird will not always sing the same song, though a primeval pattern underlies its notes. In my next talk I shall be trying to explain some of the ways in which that song changes, and talking about the relationship between apocalypse and the changing fictions of men born and dead in the middest. It is a large subject, because the instrument of change is the human imagination. It changes not only the consoling plot, but the structure of time and the world. One of the most striking things about it was said by Stevens in one of his adages; and it is with this suggestive saying that I shall mark the transition from the first to the second part of my own pattern. 'The imagination, ' said this student of changing fictions, 'the imagination is always at the end of an era.' Next time we shall try to see what this means in relation to our problem of making sense of the ways we make sense of the world.

Frank Kermode
Why two (or whole groups) of people can come up with the same story or idea at the same time, even when across the world from each-other: "A field is a region of influence, where a force will influence objects at a distance with nothing in between. We and our universe live in a Quantum sea of light. Scientists have found that the real currency of the universe is an exchange of energy. Life radiates light, even when grown in the dark. Creation takes place amidst a background sea of energy, which metaphysics might call the Force, and scientists call the "Field." (Officially the Zero Point Field) There is no empty space, even the darkest empty space is actually a cauldron of energies. Matter is simply concentrations of this energy (particles are just little knots of energy.) All life is energy (light) interacting. The universe is self-regenreating and eternal, constantly refreshing itself and in touch with every other part of itself instantaneously. Everything in it is giving, exchanging and interacting with energy, coming in and out of existence at every level. The self has a field of influence on the world and visa versa based on this energy. Biology has more and more been determined a quantum process, and consciousness as well, functions at the quantum level (connected to a universe of energy that underlies and connects everything). Scientist Walter Schempp's showed that long and short term memory is stored not in our brain but in this "Field" of energy or light that pervades and creates the universe and world we live in. A number of scientists since him would go on to argue that the brain is simply the retrieval and read-out mechanism of the ultimate storage medium - the Field. Associates from Japan would hypothesize that what we think of as memory is simply a coherent emission of signals from the "Field," and that longer memories are a structured grouping of this wave information. If this were true, it would explain why one tiny association often triggers a riot of sights, sounds and smells. It would also explain why, with long-term memory in particular, recall is instantaneous and doesn't require any scanning mechanism to sift through years and years of memory. If they are correct, our brain is not a storage medium but a receiving mechanism in every sense, and memory is simply a distant cousin of perception. Some scientists went as far as to suggest that all of our higher cognitive processes result from an interaction with the Field. This kind of constant interaction might account for intuition or creativity - and how ideas come to us in bursts of insight, sometimes in fragments but often as a miraculous whole. An intuitive leap might simply be a sudden coalescence of coherence in the Field. The fact that the human body was exchanging information with a mutable field of quantum fluctuation suggested something profound about the world. It hinted at human capabilities for knowledge and communication far deeper and more extended than we presently understand. It also blurred the boundary lines of our individuality - our very sense of separateness. If living things boil down to charged particles interacting with a Field and sending out and receiving quantum information, where did we end and the rest of the world began? Where was consciousness-encased inside our bodies or out there in the Field? Indeed, there was no more 'out there' if we and the rest of the world were so intrinsically interconnected. In ignoring the effect of the "Field" modern physicists set mankind back, by eliminating the possibility of interconnectedness and obscuring a scientific explanation for many kinds of miracles. In re-normalizing their equations (to leave this part out) what they'd been doing was a little like subtracting God.

Lynne McTaggart
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