The Universe Of Experience, LL White

The Universe of Experience, LL White

  • Intro
    • “order-generating tendency”
    • “new synthesis” – humanity needs to transcend current configuration in order to survive/thrive
      • Power of Now
      • Alan Watts
      • Innovating to Zero
      • Overview Effect
      • Bitcoin…?
    • “Moralizing for others is hypocritical and empty. Only silent example unaware of itself, is effective.”
    • “a paean to unity, sung by a skeptic”
    • “radical metamorphosis of the psyche, particularly in the west”
    • “a possibility of a worldwide consensus emerging soon, and rapidly, concerning what it should mean to be a human being”
    • understanding and managing shame and humiliation – Donald Nathanson
  • key terms
    • morphic (vs entropic) – tendency towards organic coordination – leaves a memory of particular events + how it was made, entropic doesn’t.
    • joy – vitality without discord
    • vital surplus – humans cursed and blessed with a restlessness springing from yet unrealized potentialities, far in excess of the degree of vitality that would be biologically appropriate or adaptively most advantegous– it shapes new forms of behavior which may or may not prove advantageous, and it does this BEFORE the evolutionary proess tests them out
    • imagination – primary capacity of the human mind, te fafculty for forming new unities. can be defined and understood without the intellect. in contrast, any understanding of the intellect must assume some ordering generated by the imagination
    • understanding – ‘thinking’ means more than analytical intellectual reasoning. to experience and to act in organically appropriate manner, man must be in possession of complete aesthetic, intuitive, philosophical and scientific understanding of the basic features of this universe, such as matter, life and mind. includes understanding his own potentialities, general and abstract affective energies that motivate all meanings and behaviors as well as the cognitive functions that transform those energies into action and direction. such coordinated understanding based on unified knowledge is the criterion of biological maturity and viability for humans.
  • foreword
    • “my role of conscience in writing this book: to write as honestly as I know how, as if it were my last word, my testament. to be recklessly honest– to consider no reader, friend or foe… so bequeath my best.”
  • who has written this and why
    • the more personal the enthusiasm than an idea evokes in a person who believes he is its creator, the more likely it is that the idea is corrupted by mistaken unconscious assumptions
      • this pervasive irony haunts all human thought, including these pages– they contain unassailable convictions and frail personal judgements
    • this awareness does not lessen either the earnestness of these pages or the author’s daring– he has no choice but to discard false humility and to declare his purpose, which is not modest.
    • we are sick today for lack of simple ideas which can help us to be what we want to be
    • the basic challenge to mankind is not population, poverty, war, technology, pollution, religious or racial intolerance, or blind nationalis, but an underlying nihilism promoting violence and frustrating sane policies on these issues. in 1870 nietzsche knew that nihilism stood at the door, now it is with us. despair for mankind is nearly universal.
    • the author’s view is that the only hope lies in the emergence of a potentially worldwide consensus of heart, mind and will, appealing to all sane men and women everywhere, because it looks deeper into the nature of man than Marxism or any past doctrine
    • “history is a sequence of surprises”
    • “this book is mainly philosophical and PREscientific– to understand the ideas he presents, one must also identify his impulse and its source, and to do that we must first take a look at the source of transcendental religion, which here means Christianity
      • without any conscious preoccupation with this issue, for the mock battle of the transcendental divinity with aggressive atheism never interested him, the author has allowed this question to work itself out unconsciously within himself throughout his life.
      • “Perhaps man will rise higher when he stops projecting himself into a God” – Nietzsche, Joyful Wisdom
      • “We are unable to distinguish whether God and the unconscious are two different entities” – Jung
      • A naturalistic reinterpretation renders all that is authentic in the Christian doctrine greater not less, for it makes it part of a new and stronger man, not of some fancied “superman”, but simply man as he is but less distorted by a dissociating tradition
      • “In the struggle for spiritual/ethical good good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope” and cultivate the “Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself.” – Einstein
    • “postreligious and prescientific”
  • Science
    • “science originally grew out of the religious and intellectual search for order and unity in experience”
      • (Hmm. That’s one way of looking at it.)
    • “one should be fearful of an incomplete science which deceives itself” – poincare, 1913
    • After nearly 4 centuries of quantitative research no exact science has yet attained basic theoretical clarity! this is remarkable and merits attention. We can send men to the moon and back without fundamental intellectual understanding of any realm of nature!
    • What does it signify that science has reached a stage where scientist can know beyond any doubt that all existing theories are merely incomplete and faulty approximations?
    • Nearly all scientific specialists exaggerate what is known
    • “a physics research student is apt to overestimate his understanding of things in general… this unconscious arrogance is not confined to research students”
    • young skeptical students tend to become dogmatic professors
    • it seems you cannot earn your living by teaching a validity-restricted theory without unconsciously becoming identified with its dogmas.
    • What would happen if every teacher of science sought only to promote truth and spent the first 5 minutes of every hour saying, as he should, “what I am going to tell you this morning must be wrong, since we do not yet possess a unified theory of this realm. there must exist unconscious, redundant and faulty assumptions somewhere, but no one yet know where””
      • the first step is to know that they must exist. if you are honest with yourself, and really believe it, the battle is half won. (contrast with feynman– you are the easiest person to fool)
      • next, pretend you have an adversary if you haven’t one already. ask yourself, what more general assumptions would HE make if he wanted to displace your theory?
        • identify the limiting flaw before he does. contemplate the problem every day for months until one morning, snap, you have the answer. this nearly always works. properly nursed and teased, the unconscious levels can be very helpful.
    • seek simplicity, and distrust it.
    • “how science managed to advance in spite of the bizzare behavior of so many scientists.”
    • the reverence for great names has gone too far and damages science
  • Disorder

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