Associated websites

Websites associated with Contributing authors

The Belief Doctor (Steaphen Pirie)   Infoworks (Steven Lesser)

Disclaimer

Please be aware that the opinions, beliefs and materials of contributing authors need not reflect the beliefs or opinions of other contributing authors. As a general rule articles are posted on this website which infer or in some way point towards, or add weight to an "integral systems" or 'holodynamic systems" world-view.

Religion & Spirituality

This section applies the Key Principles to reveal deeper insights into the nature of religious and spiritual beliefs.

This section will also include content from forthcoming books by author Steaphen Pirie. The extracts are generally in the form of question and answer dialogues, some of which will be as follows:

See also

 

Can Science and Religion be Integrated?

by Prof. Amit Goswami (August 10, 2008)

Can science and religion be integrated? What comes to mind immediately is that religions themselves cannot agree with one another whereas science is basically monolithic. How can there even be trade between the two, let alone integration?

First, it is only a perception that religions are pluralistic and science is not. Science is monolithic only so far as science of matter–physics and chemistry–is concerned. Psychology, the science of the psyche, has three different paradigms–behavioral-cognitive consisting of hard science orientation, depth psychology consisting of Freudian psychoanalysis and Jungian analytical psychology and their derivatives with psychotherapy orientation, and humanistic-transpersonal-yoga psychology with positive mental health orientation. Both the later paradigms of psychology acknowledge downward causation and subtle bodies in some form or other. Medicine has the conventional allopathic medicine and also alternative medicine practices that complement it. A prominent part of alternative medicine is Eastern medicine that emphasizes subtle energies called variously as prana, chi, and ki. And biology is in transition right now. The materialist biology is highly developed but with some unsolved (maybe unsolvable) problems. Alternative biology is biology that sees life as the handiwork of a purposive designer with the power of downward causation; but at present it is so poorly developed that hardly anyone can call it a genuine alternative biology.

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Consciousness and Quantum Physics

by Prof. Amit Goswami (August 13, 2008)

There was a revolution in physics at the beginning of the last century, consisting of the discovery of quantum physics. The message of quantum physics is this: the world is not made of matter neither is it determined entirely by material causation that we sometimes call upward causation because it rises upward from the building blocks of matter–the elementary particles . There is a source of downward causation in the world. You can call this source consciousness if you like and think of it as the ground of all being.

To be sure, the mathematics of quantum physics is deterministic and based on the upward causation model above, but it predicts objects and their movements not as determined events (as in Newtonian physics) but as possibilities (for which the probabilities can be calculated enabling us to develop a very successful predictive science for large number of objects and/or events). And yet when we look at a quantum object, we don’t experience it as a bundle of possibilities, but as actual localized event much like a Newtonian particle. Moreover, quantum mathematics does not allow us to connect the upward causation-based deterministic theory with experimental data. How do the possibilities of the theory become actualities of experience simply by our looking at them? This is the mysterious “observer effect.”

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Enabling Awareness, Relating and Transformative Change

[ Copyright Stuart B. Hill

(Reprint. Points to consider for discussion)

  1. Working with the processes of change (personal, social and ecological); the importance of ‘small meaningful initiatives we can guarantee to carry through to completion’; Lewin’s ‘Force Field Analysis’ (driving and restraining forces); and the public sharing and celebration of change.

    Bragging about examples from your past and present; dreaming and planning about initiatives for the future (in relation to your personal wellbeing and relationships); keeping track of your progress.
     

  2. Expanding our awareness – building on our past, preparing for our future – and its relationships with empowerment, vision, values, relationships, wellbeing and effective and meaningful action.

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Is God perfect? Will God save me?

To believe in perfection requires a disconnect between our present reality and potentials with some other "up there" state which is separated from "here" and "now."

Key Principle of Life, for Life No. 1 (The Community-As or God-as Principle) affirms that our lives unfold from a vast, invisible web-work of connections, potentials and influences, and that we are never entirely disconnected or separate from All (including God). We are God-as-us, and any abilities ascribed to God are necessarily available to each of us (for as we ... "seek, ye shall find"). More importantly, and of more relevance to most, is that whatever faults we have, or whatever faults and evils we observe in ourselves or others, is necessarily also within God – as within the part, so within the whole.

A belief in a separate distant state of perfection is therefore driven by the fear or inexperience of looking within ourselves to find our own readily-available unbounded potentials.

In historical terms, the collective human psyche can be judged to be in late adolescence, or early adulthood1.

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Moving beyond a 2,450-year-old era

The Art and Science of Blinking

Around 2,450 years ago the ancient Greek philosopher Zeno of Elea was perhaps the first to methodically question a simple fact of life - how do we physically move, such as when blinking an eye, running, or simply falling down?

Culturally we are about to fall off a philosophical cliff. Fortunately, a safe landing in a far more compassionate, sane and exciting world awaits those who come to the edge with the understanding of how to fly.

His questions and arguments, which have become widely known as Zeno's Paradoxes, pointed to the seemingly logical impossibility of the everyday experience of physical movement.

His considerations have perplexed and troubled philosophers and scientists even since. Various assumptions that underpin our modern technologies and sciences were taken for granted. We take for granted that there is always a physical cause for every physical effect - as exemplified by scientists researching to find physical cures for disease, cancer and viruses; and to find the physical genes or brain cells responsible for thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and the experience of love, creativity and joy. 

Now, with the advances in the field of quantum physics, we know that a 2,450 year era is nearing its end .. an era in which it has been assumed that our physical brains, bodies and the entire physical universe is continuously existent. An era in which each part (atom, virus, cell, organ, person, planet) was assumed to be continuously existent and functional, with every part contributing to the running of, or dysfunction of, the machinery of life.

We stand at the edge of a grand new understanding of our universe, and ourselves. As Visa International founder Dee Hock foretells, a new era

is struggling to be born -- a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community, and ethics such as the world has never known, and a harmony with nature, with one another, and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never dreamed."

 

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Process Theology

Process-relational theologians integrate implications of a thoroughly interdependent universe into how we live and express our faith.

We are convinced that everything is dynamically interconnected; that everything matters; that everything has an effect. Such insights can be adapted to many faith traditions, but this particular booklet applies them to Christian faith.

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Quantum Consciousness

New Dimensions interview by Michael Toms with Danah Zohar
Program no. 2508, 1994.
http://newdimensions.org/program-archive/quantum-consciousness-with-danah-zohar/

[posted with permission, New Dimensions]

...

Danah: I think we're missing something very critical. We now know that the brain is capable of doing three kinds of thinking. One is logical, rational thinking and serial computers duplicate that very well.

Another is associative thinking, you know linking if I feel hungry I think of an apple, or if I see you I think of a friendly person and in fact of Father Christmas 'cause you look a bit like him. So we associate ideas. Now the new parallel processing computers can do this very well. This is neural network theory and how it's related to parallel processing.

Now Artificial Intelligence and the computer lobbies, say that's all there is to consciousness because that's all they can account for with their machines. But we know in fact from our own intuition and experience, and experience of ourselves, and others, that we can also do creative thinking. Human beings come up with new concepts, come up with new categories, come up with new associations. We're constantly reinventing the scenario.

Now this I put down to quantum processes in the brain and this is something that existing computers cannot duplicate. I leave it open that if we one day invent a quantum computer it might be able to, but our existing serial and parallel computers cannot duplicate creativity, new thinking, new ideas and in fact conscious experience. Computers aren't conscious. They don't have a sense of humor, they don't have the sense of sorrow, and they don't relate the way we do. They can only do what's programmed into them.

Michael: Also, it seems to me that, just as you were talking about coming up with the idea of the book out of your anesthetized state, and coming up with insights through the dream process that somehow our consciousness is not just isolated to the brain. It seems that we're somehow in touch with a larger reality and that certainly would be comparable to ... the quantum model, wouldn't it?

Danah: Well I think this is one of THE most exciting things about the quantum model of consciousness because it actually begins to talk about the sort of origins and the modern nature of consciousness, well beyond the human brain.

Quantum physicists describe something they call the quantum vacuum. The vacuum is very badly named because it isn't empty. It's actually a sea of potential, replete with all possibility.

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Scientific Proof of the Existence of God

Quantum physics, as well as a number of other modern sciences, he feels, is demonstrating that the essential unity underlying all of reality is a fact which can be experimentally verified. Because of the enormous implications he sees in this scientific confirmation of the spiritual, Goswami is ardently devoted to explaining his theory to as many people as possible in order to help bring about what he feels is a much needed paradigm shift. He feels that because science is now capable of validating mysticism, much that before required a leap of faith can now be empirically proven and, hence, the materialist paradigm which has dominated scientific and philosophical thought for over two hundred years can finally be called into question.

 

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