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Is nature a living entity?


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#16    bLu3 de 3n3rgy

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:44 AM

View PostBeany, on 21 April 2013 - 10:52 PM, said:

Here's my secret theory, that the reason body art, piercings, scarfication, etc. is so popular is that people are identifying with the body of Mother Earth, replicating her healing & her wounds on a smaller scale. If nature is more than just a series of inter-connectedness, than we ARE mother earth, or at least a part of her, not just connected to her. So what happens to us, what we do, what we think, affects her as much as it does it, like we're all parts of one big giant organism. If I had a choice about which part of the organism I would inhabit, it would be the heart, I think.

This to me opens up a can of worms, but i like your analogy and agree somewhat with it.

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#17    White Unicorn

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:11 AM

View PostBeany, on 21 April 2013 - 05:28 PM, said:

If nature is a living entity, then are we a part of it? And if we are, what is our function, I wonder. As for being sentient, could what we call coincidence actually be a demonstration of that sentience?

I would say that we are all part of nature and nature gives us and other living beings consciousness on their own levels. I would speculate that the conscious beings in relationship with the living powers of nature can bring a "consciousness" to nature itself.

We can control forces of nature to some degrees with some of the knowledge we have.  There are other conscious beings beside us that may also have conscious control to control some forces of nature.  We probably can't even comprehend the existence of all the conscious beings involved because they are not like us.  We are much like ants who are individuals but work as a society to influence their enviroment by controlling of nature. The ant knows how to prepare for the nature of winter but would not comprehend the coming flood of his hill if it were caused by a man irragating his field. We could be like the ant and not comprehend the action of consciousness and only see it as an unusual act of nature.


#18    Beany

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:43 AM

That reminds me of the sci fi story, forgot who wrote it, about a human living on Mars who came into contact with a Martian. They were both surprised to see one another, the Martian was going to a party in the city, I think, which the human saw as archaelogical remains containing no life. I wonder if the same kind of thing happens here, that we sometimes run across life forms or consciousness that is so far out of our experience that we don't recognize it for what it is. Just remembered the book, The Martian Chronicles. I  need to re-read it to see if I remembered the story correctly.


#19    Beany

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 02:45 AM

View PostbLu3 de 3n3rgy, on 22 April 2013 - 12:44 AM, said:

This to me opens up a can of worms, but i like your analogy and agree somewhat with it.
It does open up a can of worms, that's why it's a secret theory, at least until now. It just kind of popped into my brain one day and refuses to leave.


#20    White Crane Feather

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:02 AM

View PostBeany, on 22 April 2013 - 02:43 AM, said:

I wonder if the same kind of thing happens here, that we sometimes run across life forms or consciousness that is so far out of our experience that we don't recognize it for what it is.


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#21    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

View PostBeany, on 21 April 2013 - 02:25 AM, said:

There's an esoteric theory that nature is a living dynamic entity that surges and evolves, that it is more than just a series of connections between animate and inanimate objects. If this is true, does it have some sort of consciousness? Not the kind humans experience, because it's not human, but if it does have consciousness, how could it be described?

Western science breaks things down into seperate parts but Eastern science takes a more holistic approach using systems theory.

They see the system as being the thing that is conscious not its seperate parts such as a human, a tree or a cow.


#22    Frank Merton

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:41 PM

View PostGiant Killer B, on 22 April 2013 - 11:19 AM, said:

Western science breaks things down into separate parts but Eastern science takes a more holistic approach using systems theory.

They see the system as being the thing that is conscious not its separate parts such as a human, a tree or a cow.
Perhaps so, which would explain why western science produces so much more.  Actually I don't think there can really be said to be much in the way of Asian science.  Chinese science got as far as the Greco-Roman science and then seems to have gone stale in much the same way, something I don't think has ever been explained for either culture.


#23    Frank Merton

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

I use the Tao, after Chinese tradition, to explain in a way how animals can be sentient (experience the world rather than just process data), and we can be conscious and rational.  It is something we draw from that is present, but that doesn't mean the Tao itself is sentient.  Nor of course does it mean it isn't, but if it is the sentience/consciousness is very different from ours.  

This is just me waving my arms in the air trying to get across the point that there is something out there really weird or we wouldn't have minds.  The mechanical reductionist approach fails, and nothing else succeeds.


#24    Beany

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:55 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 22 April 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

Perhaps so, which would explain why western science produces so much more.  Actually I don't think there can really be said to be much in the way of Asian science.  Chinese science got as far as the Greco-Roman science and then seems to have gone stale in much the same way, something I don't think has ever been explained for either culture.

This is an interesting perspective, if it's true. I would think that there are other factors at play other than philosophy or religion, though. As for the Chinese, they pretty much went broke after building a huge fleet of ships that sailed off in each of the four directions. It was a huge enterprise, forests were depleted to build the ships, the Emperor's coffers were emptied, and there was almost no return on investment. It was an economic disaster. After that, the Chinese pretty much shut down exploration. But it sounds like their back in the game now; I would think a country's economic resources is a major factor in determining scientific innovation. It takes money to fund labs & pay scientists.


#25    Beany

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:59 PM

Hey, here's a paragraph from a story currently posted on Yahoo: The weird way entangled particles stay connected even when separated by large distances — a phenomenon Albert Einsteincalled "spooky" — has been confirmed once again, this time with a key loophole in the experiment eliminated.


#26    Mr Right Wing

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 04:56 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 22 April 2013 - 12:41 PM, said:

Perhaps so, which would explain why western science produces so much more.  Actually I don't think there can really be said to be much in the way of Asian science.  Chinese science got as far as the Greco-Roman science and then seems to have gone stale in much the same way, something I don't think has ever been explained for either culture.

In cutting edge academic research its systems theory not a reductionist approach which is being applied - from business management to physics. Its been slowly creeping in throughout the last few decades.


#27    SpiritWriter

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:15 PM

View PostBeany, on 21 April 2013 - 05:46 AM, said:



All I know about the Tao is what I've learned from pop culture. Is the Tao itself thought to be sentient? Boy howdy, I get the the part about lacking the ability to know anything about it. Sometimes I feel like I've caught a glimpse of it, but it's no more substantial the the shadow on the ground of a bird flying overheard. I wonder if when we die we'll learn anymore about it than we do when we're alive. That's my idea of heaven, someone explaining just exactly what's going on down here and how it all works, and even better, I'll understand it. In which case, it's going to have to be pretty simple.

I have always had this same wish. That when we'll die we will know everything. But perhaps it will take a lor more than that to achieve that kind of knowing. I am hopeful though.. ;)

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#28    SpiritWriter

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:25 PM

View PostBeany, on 21 April 2013 - 02:25 AM, said:

There's an esoteric theory that nature is a living dynamic entity that surges and evolves, that it is more than just a series of connections between animate and inanimate objects. If this is true, does it have some sort of consciousness? Not the kind humans experience, because it's not human, but if it does have consciousness, how could it be described?

I totally believe there Is a conciuos driving force that inhabits nature and all that is within it. I call that god. I feel it can be broken down further in explanation but I havent the words to do so. I do believe that humans are blessed.. that we are not just pawns for an eternal cosmic game or some other type of exploitation but that the created are also given reason and purpose, reward and fulfillment and that this is to the joy of the creator. I totally think that all things are connected and governed by a higher / ultimate source, but also within that structure we are given power to interact and change our environments as an extention of this great source.

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Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung

#29    Spiral staircase

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 08:04 PM

I thoroughly appreciate Patrick Dunn's postmodern view of panpsychism.

Quote

1. Why do you say there isn’t a magical energy, when almost every other book on magic says that there is?

A: I don’t say that there isn’t. I just say that thinking about magic as if it’s energy-driven is one way to think about magic, but there are other ways which are just as valid. Thinking about magic as information – or, if you prefer, messages we send to our deep mind or to God or to the universal consciousness – leads to interesting ideas that thinking about it only as energy does not. Of course, the reverse is also true; thinking about magic as energy leads to conclusions that other models do not. But those conclusions have been adequately explored, while the information paradigm has not. I’m not saying the energy paradigm is wrong and the information paradigm is right – I’m saying clinging so tightly to one paradigm that you can’t see the value in another is probably unwise.

2. If everything is just symbols, as you say, then why should it matter what we do to people? Couldn’t we hurt someone and if they’re just symbols, why would it matter?

A: Saying “everything is just symbols” reflects a misunderstanding. I’m saying everything (that we think, experience, and see) is a symbol referring back to other symbols, and there’s no ultimate thing they all refer to. But that doesn’t mean everything’s “just” a symbol, because the word “just” implies that there’s something that isn’t a symbol to compare it to. Of course treating people well is important, not because you’ll be punished by some ultimate God figure, or because it’s just right, but because the only way to meaningfully exist in this web of symbols is to exist in relationship to other symbols, to look into another person’s eyes and want to know him or her as a person, not just a thing. That’s the basis of my morality, anyway.

3. What is panpsychism, and why do you believe in it?

A: Panpsychism is just a reversal of the dominant attitude, that matter exists first and mind arises from it. A panpsychist argues that there’s no reason to assume that – in fact, there are perfectly good philosophical reasons to assume that the opposite is true, that mind preexists matter. Working under this assumption solves several sticky philosophical problems, such as the mind-body problem. But more importantly, my particular adoption of panpsychism allows – in fact, assumes as a fact of existence – that magic works.

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Edited by Leave Britney alone!, 22 April 2013 - 08:04 PM.


#30    Ryu

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:51 PM

Why must nature be 'alive'? It's just a compilation of processes that interact in some favorable way for organisms. (usually)





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