Nuggets From Science and Consciousness

Some cogent thoughts and quotes from the just-finished Science and Consciousness Conference in Santa Fe, featuring Jean Houston, Sam Keen, Matthew Fox, Raymond Moody, Peter Russell, and others. (I emceed and inflicted myself on everybody in a comedy concert.)

Jean Houston is the great-granddaughter of both Sam Houston and Robert E. Lee. (Presumably not together. I’m pretty sure science wasn’t quite that far along in the 1900s.)

People of sustained creativity are usually high sensates, high kinesthetic people. Mental sensory games develop imagery and stimulate creativity. Exercise: imagine sensing all kinds of things using, variously: taste, smell, touch, hearing. It’s a springboard to creativity. (Jean H.)

In Bhutan, Gross National Happiness is valued over Gross National Product. (Peter R.)

Usury (lending money at interest) was banned in every major religion in the world at some point. (Peter R.)

The Martingale Fallacy in gambling: If you lose, double your bet. If you keep losing, keep doubling your bet until you win a bet and you’ll be even. Then start again and hope for a winning streak. The fallacy is that this strategy doesn’t account for a long losing streak that wipes you out so you have no more money to bet. Something similar has happened in the financial world. (Peter R.)

(I think a lot of people use this strategy for relationships too….)

Consumerism is the fallacy that whatever you bought made you feel happier. But ignores the fact that you feel better because you created a feeling of lack in the first place. We find all kinds of things to be discontented about, and we have advertising to remind us of and reinforce the feeling. Stop the feeling of lack, and the need to buy stuff just to feel better is gone. (Peter R.)

(This gave me a cool song idea: “It’s A Great Time To Be Amish.”)

Our right brains (the creative, artistic, spiritual, big picture side) are usually less active, and our educational system and use of language promote this trend. (Diane Hennacy Powell)

Wisdom is the marriage of knowledge and art. (Matthew Fox)

The 21st century word for justice is “sustainability.” (Matthew Fox)

“Retirement,” no. “Refirement,” yes. (Matthew Fox)

$38,000 is spent per second on weapons around the world. (Matthew Fox)

Celtic saying: “Never give a young man a loaded gun who has not learned to dance.” (Matthew Fox)

More from Matthew Fox:

  • St. Augustin: “Spirit is whatever is not matter.”
  • Physicist David Bohm: “Matter is frozen light.”
  • The universal word for spirit in traditions is “light.”
  • Science is now melting the dualism.

Therapist Joanne Woodward in Toronto: If an image is 1,000 volts, an archetype is 100,000 volts. (Matthew Fox)

Green light (e.g. from trees) is the most beneficial to humans. (Leonid Sharashkin)

Warfare is not genetic, it’s not in our hardware. It’s in our software. It’s rooted in our socially constructed narratives and myths. This type of myth is like a post-hypnotic suggestion. (Sam Keen)

Why do we love war? Several reasons:

  • It makes reality easy for us: good vs evil, us vs them. Evil has a source and can be eliminated.
  • War is rooted in longing for a utopian society.
  • God is with US. So all war becomes holy war. Killing becomes a sacrament by our sacrifice.
  • War allows us to feel we’re part of a large drama. Gives us meaning.
  • We buy the myth of redemptive justice.
  • There’s a heroic aspect. Males are given identity and rites of passage, taught obedience to authority, discipline.
  • Promises sexual availability to enemy women once conquered.
  • We buy the myth that war is the protector of the innocent.
  • War is good for business. War profits are enormous, and enrich MANY of us.
  • War unifies us. Suicide rates always go down in wartime. Relieves the boredom of civilian life.
  • Patriotism becomes idolatry.
  • War is spectacle, like huge natural disasters or events.
  • War is adventure in a strange land.
  • War allows soldiers (and civilians, vicariously) to exercise God-like power of life and death. It’s intoxicating.
  • Allows the joy of destruction.
  • Allows the exercise of forbidden sadistic impulses, a vacation from civility. (Abu Ghraib)
  • It validates our claim to superiority. (Sam Keen)

Dealing with the shadow is not a pleasant process. We have to die from the old mythology in order to be reborn. The habit of warfare is nearly universal. But it’s not in our genes, it’s in our stories. (Sam Keen)

A “Just War” is usually just war. (Sam Keen)

Moral courage is more rare than physical courage. (Sam Keen)

And finally….

In two days, tomorrow will be yesterday, but it will still be Now.

© 2009 Greg Tamblyn

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