The Science Delusion – Reexamining our Worldview Mindset
If you are anywhere near a window or door why don’t you stop reading right now, get up, walk over and take five or ten seconds to look outside and absorb what you see. Hell, if that’s asking too much of you then just imagine what you would see if you were to look out your window. Go ahead and take a few seconds. I’ll wait.
Regardless of whether your (imagined) view outside was of lawn, woods, mountains, animals or other humans, homes or out buildings, a road or highway, tall office buildings or even skyscrapers, if I were to ask you to describe in detail what you (thought you) saw, what you (thought you) perceived, everyone would pretty much describe it using similar words, phrases, subtext and connotation.
This is because even though we all saw different things, we all employ pretty much the same basis of understanding or belief in how our natural world works and functions, of what ‘it’ is that we think we actually see. In short, we see, perceive and thereby ‘know’ through the (distorting) lens of our worldview and the individual/collective mindset that forms that point of view.
This in turn determines how we perceive, then interpret and finally describe what we see. Contrary to common belief we do not simply ‘see’ what is there. No one sees and perceives everything exactly the same way as anyone else and I’m not just talking about differences in visible color, clarity or contrast nor just through the distortion provided by a political or religious frame of reference.
Our mindset (selectively) interprets what our senses receive based upon our preconceived notions and beliefs. In short, all that we ‘see’ and perceive in every form is run through our worldview mindset for identification, interpretation and then integration. This means that there is great latitude for error when our mindset has been both created and distorted by prior beliefs, propaganda and bias.
If we don’t believe (in) what we ‘see’ or perceive, quite simply it is dismissed as unreal and nonsensical………if it is even ‘seen’ in the first place. For all intents and purposes from our perspective fully or partially accepted perception is reality, everything else is not. As I will outline below this is our deeply flawed personal and collective mindset and I contend that this is the basis for many, if not all, of our individual and global social problems.
Our point of view determines much of what we perceive
Where we stand depends entirely upon where we sit. This wonderfully enlightening phrase works on both the micro and macro level because our basis of understanding and perception, our worldview, determines how we ‘see’ and perceive reality. Since all we know and all we think we know is right >here< in time and space, unless we make an honest, sincere and sustained effort to see beyond these artificial boundaries, to remove the self imposed limitations we all experience when we view everything through our worldview prism, we are personally and collectively condemned to a life of external and internal (self) manipulation and control.
In my opinion it is essential to understand that everything is a construct of our consciousness, so >here< is essentially non local, meaning even though for nearly all of us >here< is perceived as located between the ears, this is simply not the case. This perspective altering concept, that of non-local consciousness, is a wonderful example of our collective mindset since the vast majority will quickly and completely reject this notion simply because their present day belief system and worldview tells them otherwise. I will touch on this further down when I list some of the beliefs that form our collective worldview, but if just this one alternative view were widely embraced by the general population consider for a few moments how dramatically different the world we just viewed would seem to be.
If we fail to seek our inner knowing to effectively counterbalance the obviously subversive and manipulative external forces that are busily (re)constructing our ever changing, but still very narrow worldview, we become entirely dependent upon that external affirmation to confirm and inflame the internal dysfunction that results from our constant immersion within the insanity. Simply put we go mad, but still remain quite functional in an insane asylum sort of way. Just because I’m crazy doesn’t mean I’m stupid or unable to productively interact with others in our mad world.
This internal dysfunction, our inner insanity, aggravates and perpetuates the external manipulation by way of our collective actions in an endless positive feedback loop of escalating collective madness until finally it exhausts itself in a crescendo of war, starvation, deprivation and death. Our inner madness feeds the external madness which feeds the internal and so on.
We moan and groan about the obvious insanity of our increasingly psychotic world, about the financial, political and corporate corruption, the blatant greed and endless lies and manipulation, all while remaining comfortably blind to its inner source. Wash, rinse and repeat as needed generation after generation after generation. It simply does not need to be this way. But then again maybe it does since to accept that the source of our torment springs from within means not only that we are the problem, but that we are the solution. No one left to blame then.
A perfect example of a thoroughly dysfunctional social feedback loop is the closed society that is present day North Korea. While we do not know exactly what is happening inside that country we do understand that many if not all of its inhabitants do not receive much in the way of a ‘reality check’ to contrast what they are being told by their leadership. Their worldview mindset is horribly distorted by controlling external forces. While our egos might not like to hear this, we here in the West are under similar assault, though the techniques used are much more subtle and extremely effective.
Our entire cognitive spectrum is distorted by our worldview prism
On a micro mindset level our personal stand on gun control depends upon how we view guns, personal responsibility, local, state and federal government and so on. As well, our opinion of the stock markets’ relentless rise over the last four years depends upon our views and understanding (or not) of statistical manipulation, corporate and governmental corruption and self dealing, unlimited fiat creation and so on.
Expanding outward a bit more, on a personal level we believe that our (little patch of the) universe can be fully experienced and understood with just our oftentimes electronically leveraged five senses. Except for a few fuzzy undefined exceptions we believe that nothing further is required in order to fully understand and experience our world other than what we have not yet learned and experienced through our five senses. Man beheld what he cognitively created and it was good.
On a more macro mindset level how we view animals, plants, rocks, rivers and roads depends upon if we think of ‘them’ as sentient and conscious or dead and without awareness. For example, many believe that ‘feed’ animals should be ‘humanely’ raised and slaughtered (or at least they should be blissfully unaware of it when they are not) suggesting that we perceive animals as somewhat sentient. Perhaps this is because animals express emotions such as care and nurturing for their young and distress and panic when their young are threatened. Ask most cat and dog ‘owners’ if their animals are aware and emotional, human like in some respects, and the affirmative will come through loud and clear.
In other words we perceive (certain) animals as somewhat similar to humans principally because they show similar emotions and reactions, not because we have actually measured consciousness within them………or within humans for that matter. But we give little thought to ‘slaughtering’ woods, rivers and meadows, the very Earth itself, other than possibly holding some concern for the loss of the utility or esthetic value. I am, of course, speaking of the loss to us humans; not so much to those dumb, but still somewhat sentient animals……right?
Forget about seeing this as a moral judgment so much as just an irrefutable and near universal belief born of a decidedly narrow perceptional belief, or an iron clad fact some would say. In order for it to be a moral judgment all sides must at least be (carefully) considered, if only to be quickly discarded when it doesn’t square with that delicious steak on the table. It is one of those ‘Duh, that’s obvious’ moments where we roll our eyes and look at the questioner as if he just stepped in dog doo and is stinking up the joint. Humans are at the top of the food chain, alive and conscious. Animals are lower down and maybe conscious, depending on if our view squares with what’s for supper, while rocks and rivers are not at all. That’s just a fact Jack.
Our damned delusional unanimity
There is near universal agreement (among the ‘civilized’ world that is) that the fundamental basis for our worldview is essentially correct and quite obvious, though there are a few nagging details to be worked out here and there. So obvious in fact that rarely if ever do we talk about these concepts and even less often, either as a culture or as individuals, do we invest our time and/or money to study alternatives to these concepts, except maybe as <snicker snicker> career ending fringe science.
After all everyone knows that rocks are composed of dead inorganic material and are certainly not alive or conscious by any stretch of the imagination. This and other beliefs form our most basic assumptions about life and the world we live in and they are so firmly embedded within our way of life, within our worldview mindset, that we don’t even consider them to be assumptions at all, but rather as irrefutable and self evident facts.
And yet if these beliefs were to change, if our perception were to alter and evolve, how different would the world seem even though it did not change, only our prism. Then again, if this were to occur we could no longer be blissfully ignorant in our ravenous and insatiable consumption. It sounds to me like we are deeply conflicted and compromised sentient beings who really don’t wish to look too deep for fear of what we might see. Oops, did I just say sentient beings? I guess the answer to that would depend upon our worldview and perception. ‘We’, meaning the insane, never perceive ourselves to be anything other than sane, normal and very well adjusted to the insane asylum.
We are taught these most basic assumptions and beliefs first by our parents and primary caregivers, then by the state and corporate controlled primary and secondary education system, and finally by our corporate overlords. One is allowed, encouraged in fact, to examine the effects and intricacies of our material world in order to further ourselves personally and professionally as well as to contribute ‘economic value’ to the whole (meaning the overlords) as well as the self. After all I must march to the corporate machine because I owe, I owe, so off to work I go.
But one must never question the very basis of our worldview belief system unless one wishes to be declared a heretic and summarily expelled from the paternal patronage system of advancement and achievement. Only the wacko’s and crazies unnecessarily think so far out of the box that they must be declared permanently off reservation and dead to the academic and scientific world. You know, for their own good lest they rock the boat, spill the beans and hurt themselves and others. So we hitch up our pants, carefully adjust our blinders and then join the collective worldview of the hive mind.
All hail the mighty kings of material science
The modern day material sciences, the new global religion adored by nearly the entire world’s ‘civilized’ population, are thoroughly infiltrated and infused with carefully guarded dogma, blind beliefs, long held assumptions and blatantly obvious taboos. Obvious at least to anyone who steps outside the castle walls and gazes back with a clear and steady eye, not to those still deeply embedded within the meme.
The world’s declared religions must regard with envy and awe the degree of blind faith and revered belief the scientific community exhibits in service to the holy scientific grail, that of provable and repeatable scientific ‘truth’ and ‘fact’. Not to mention the degree of blind adoration we plebs exhibit in servitude to all things materially scientific, the ultimate effect of manufacturing consent.
If it can’t be measured and quantified using repeatable and verifiable experimentation, it just ain’t real folks. But since our measuring instruments are often limited by our own imagination to measuring only that which we are trained and conditioned to perceive, there is an obvious closed loop positive feedback cycle here very similar to a dog chasing its own tail. Good luck getting a government or corporate research grant to examine concepts that might just force us all to reexamine everything, then dismantle much of what we have built in order to preserve what little we still have left……our souls and self survival to name just two.
Since I was a young child I have always been a materials science geek so my love affair has not died, just switched from blind belief to critical thinker. For those of us who wish to look beyond the surface layer and ask the really tough questions that threaten to rock our socks off, these days of heightened awareness and self discovery are actually much more exciting than you might think. But only if one is willing to look beyond our pre-conditioned minds and discover a huge wealth of alternative science waiting to be (re)discovered and perused. In other words, only if we are ready and willing to question everything beginning with ourselves and what we ‘know’ to be true.
The agony of the arrogance
If I were limited to just one word to describe the ‘civilized’ western world (and rapidly the developing eastern world) it would have to be ‘arrogance’. We are so completely sure of our correctness, of our absolute certainty that the world, nay the universe, is pretty much constructed as, of and how we believe it to be because……..well, because our high priests of material science say it is so. See, it says so right here in our cleric approved indoctrination texts with all their pretty pictures, graphs and diagrams. No critical thinking needed since it has already been done for us. Just gaze at the flickering monitor and repeat after me.
With the benefit of hindsight we roll on the floor in delirious laugher at some of the obviously silly notions that were held as gospel decades, centuries, even millennium ago while rarely if ever considering that we presently labor under our own woefully wrong flat world perspectives so deeply engrained within our present day mindset that we are completely and utterly blind to how wrong we might be.
The amount of self absorbed naval gazing narcissistic hubris it takes to think that we are so much smarter, so much more enlightened than our mothers and fathers of just 20, 50 or 100 years ago is simply staggering to consider. In short we are afflicted with a severe and possibly fatal case of cranial rectal inversion and things don’t look good for a recovery anytime soon.
As Mrs. Cog and I continue our journey down the rabbit hole I can’t tell you how many times we have discovered books written fifty, a hundred, two hundred years ago that nail concepts (or just open the mind to other possibilities) that have all been summarily dismissed by the modern day material science priests as deluded and utterly wrongheaded. But after an open minded and thorough reading, we can often see that they clearly and creatively explain so much about the perplexities of our natural world.
At the risk of insulting many of my readers I find little difference in motives and methods between the high priests of central banking & high finance and those so-called scientific authorities who are found in various in-house corporate think tanks and labs, government and corporate run research and development centers and the heart of the beast, glorious academia, with its deeply dug in keepers of the holy thought relics and rituals. For the most part true scientific advancement (rather than just ‘material’ science) only creeps forward when a few more of the old guard dies off and the discipline lurches another step or two ahead before the new crop at the top starts protecting turf while permanently closing their minds to non conforming thought.
Sadly our present day worldview is seemingly confirmed by so much of what material science gets right, at least when it comes to consumer products, electronic gadgets and fiat printing computers, that we can all safely ignore what it gets spectacularly wrong. Just as long as we can get Wi-Fi, or at least a decent cell signal, all is right in the world and we can remain blissfully asleep at the wheel. Even when it does get it wrong, it ain’t wrong for long thanks to a bucket full of scientific superstition, supposition and sensationalism as they announce the latest greatest wild ass guess disguised as scientific fact-theory, all designed to paper over their last wild ass guess gone horribly wrong.
One should rightfully ask a basic question at this point. What difference does it make if science gets a few things wrong here and there? The answer would be ‘not much’ if the errors were at the end of the scientific process rather than at the beginning where they compound over and over again. As anyone who has added, subtracted and multiplied a long stretch of numbers will tell you, while a mistake anywhere along the way will produce an error, mistakes made at the beginning send the resulting sum so far out of the ballpark as to worse than useless, but potentially dangerous. Especially if those errors in thinking and supposition are then used as the basis for other equations, which in turn form our worldview. The result is the insanity that is Earth 2013.
Bridging the ice floes
I have been writing about our disastrously distorted worldview for several years now, though never in detail and always as part of my ongoing theme of looking within for the answers we all seek. I rarely provide direct answers to specific questions (something that tends to infuriate my readers) because I wish the questioner to first ask better questions as part of their own search within, then to seek and find their own answers so that they may own them as their truth.
If I provide specific answers I am not much better than those who peddle snake oil, if for no other reason than I am expecting others to believe me, or at least believe that what I am saying is truth as I believe I know it. In my opinion it is much better for the questioner to seek out and find their own answers so that they may embody them as their own, leaving them better able to integrate that information within themselves. The ultimate authority is found within and the only way to break our dependence upon the external authority is to stop relying upon it for ‘answers’.
I feel the same way about recommending books, particularly books that claim to have answers. All writers, including myself, are ultimately propagandists since it is nearly impossible to write on a subject without holding an opinion on that subject. We wish to influence the reader to adopt our way of thinking and the conclusions that spring from it, thus we will present our best argument in favor of the position we are discussing even when we make a genuine effort to be impartial. This is why I prefer to ask open ended questions that appear to have multiple answers (or worse, only one answer) and then present my thinking.
However from time to time I will point in a specific book because it does present open ended questions or dramatically points to our cognitive dissonances, then it asks the hard ‘why’ questions while trying to fill in the blanks. Or I will recommend it because it pushes the cognitive boundaries well past the accepted norm. This time I seem to have found a book that does many of these, Rupert Sheldrake’s “Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery”. The UK edition is titled “The Science Delusion.
In his book Rupert Sheldrake discusses in great detail ten fundamentally flawed assumptions or dogma that have infiltrated the western world’s worldview. He then explores possible answers to his own questions. Below is Sheldrake’s summary of modern science’s materialist ideology which I transcribed from an interview of Sheldrake on Red Ice Radio.
Number one; there is the assumption that nature is mechanical or machine like. That everything in nature, plants, animals and humans are machine like. Or as Richard Dawkins famously said, we are just lumbering robots and our brains are like genetically programmed computers.
Number two; that matter is unconscious. The entire universe is made up of unconscious matter which includes everything in nature including our bodies, but strangely our minds are somehow conscious. This illustrates one of the biggest problems in materialist science, that consciousness should not exist at all and yet it does, but exclusively within humans and maybe some animals and possibly a few other species.
Number three; the laws of nature are fixed, that they are the same as they were at the big bang and they will be the same forever. This infers that the “constants” such as the speed of light or the gravitational constant never change or vary.
Number four; that the total amount of matter and energy has always and will always remain the same beginning with the big bang and extending forward into infinity.
Number five; that nature is purposeless, that there is no purpose in animals and plants or in life as a whole. The entire evolutionary process has no purpose; it has just come about by blind chance and the laws of nature.
Number six; biological inheritance is material, it is all genetic or epigenetic or possibly in cytoplasmic inheritance, but in any case material.
Number seven; memories are stored as material traces inside the brain. All your memories are inside your head in some way stored in nerve endings or phosphorylated proteins or some other way. No one knows how, but the assumption is that they are there.
Number eight; your mind is inside your head, that it is an aspect of the activity of your brain.
Number nine; psychic phenomenon such as telepathy is illusory. They appear to exist, but they are not real. That’s because the mind is inside the head and can’t have any effects at a distance.
Number ten; mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works. Alternative and complementary therapies may appear to work, but that’s just because people would have got better anyway or it’s the placebo effect. That’s why governments, pharmaceutical companies, medical research organizations and universities funds only mechanistic medicine based upon the principal that the body is a machine working on chemistry and physics so it can only be treated by the same processes such as drugs or surgery. While that can be very effective up to a point, it’s just part of medicine.
Please recognize that the purpose of my continuous exercise in cognitive discombobulation, of questioning everything beginning with myself, is not intended to form new conclusions or even to modify my present day belief system mindset. Rather the desired effect is to expand my perceptive capacity, to push my self constrained thought boundaries far beyond my well manicured cognitive back yard and deep into the wooded forest beyond.
In other words it is the journey, not the destination that matters. By challenging our core beliefs, by demanding of ourselves that we look where the emotional and intellectual pain lay, once we honestly begin to do so sweeping new vistas open up. I have no idea what you will find when you look, only that you will find what you are looking for if you are sincere and persistent in your search.
Please note that I have not thoroughly read this book, only skimmed, though it is on my must read list to be perused over time. However I have carefully listened to four of Sheldrake’s interviews and I was impressed with his originality and fearless thought process. While he is a classically trained scientist he seems to have found a way to bridge both ice floes, that of a contrarian and of a traditionalist. If nothing else you might want to take a closer look at this one. I most certainly will.
There is nothing more exciting, or frightening, than breaking from the herd and crawling way out onto the end of the limb. Provided I continue to seek the courage to maintain my own personal journey I suspect I shall find many of you out there where it all begins.