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Einstein's quote on the Self - what does it mean?
January 21, 2007
1:33 pm
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Whats wrong in that quote?

January 21, 2007
1:33 pm
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That was for Matteo, oops.

January 21, 2007
3:42 pm
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gues_guest ~ that's for you to figure out.

Loralei ~ it is never moral to kill people. Sometimes it's necesarry, like during the war, but even then it's not moral. Sometimes is not moral and not necessary even during the war, like in case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even if one can find any morality in war, I cannot imagine applaying any morality to a massacre and this is what bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was. That's all according to my morality; yours might be different, and I don't expect to find any agreement if it is, even if we would argue until we were blue on our faces.

January 21, 2007
4:53 pm
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Matteo, you missed my point. War itself is not moral. But killing is killing. You are just as dead whether the weapon of destruction was a knife or a bomb. It seemed that you were more concerned about the type of weapon used than you were about anything else. There have been horrendous massacres throughout history that killed more people than the atomic bomb killed so I don't know where you were going with that.

Since history is continually rewritten and no one really knows what went on for sure except the people who were involved, I can only give you the 'reasoning' behind it that I have heard. From what I understand, the basic reason for dropping the bomb was to keep the war from escalating and killing even more people. It ended the war. It was used as a deterrent to more wars. I think they chose what they considered to be the lessor of two evils. Whether this makes it moral or not, who can really judge? It was war. It's not like somebody woke up one morning and said, let's bomb Japan for kicks. They had already bombed Pearl Harbor.

January 21, 2007
5:01 pm
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Hi Loralei and Matteo

There is another school of thought about why the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, and then the second on Nagasaki. The Japanese had already surrendered, but they wanted one condition, which was to keep their Emperor; the US said that was not acceptable.

The US could see geopolitical influences shifting after the war and wanted to try out their new weapon. The scientists had urged that a demonstration explosion be done over the ocean, or in an unpopulated area... but destroying a city is so much more dramatic a demonstration.

There's a book about it -- I'll find the reference. But I am so tired of hearing the rationalization that "it was used to end the war". The war was already over.

Interestingly enough, after destroying the two cities (and leaving genetic illnesses to carry on down the decades) the US agreed to let the Japanese keep their Emperor.

January 21, 2007
5:05 pm
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I agree that E. was just a human being like us. He was a little better,thats all. All the fame and glory has him rising to a super-human 'perfect' fairy tail fantasy status. He was like us, just had a clearer head than most of us and so could think further.

Matteo

>> “When I am judging a theory, I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way”. No comments on this one. << Its a great quote. Its like saying "What would Jesus have done?" Its a check to see if the theory is correct or not. That doesnt believe he believes in God. It was just a way to judge the validity and quality of a law. I wonder what objection you had with the quote.

January 21, 2007
5:59 pm
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guest_guest
20-Jan-07

"Well Tez, that was the best explanation, using his own quotes, thats what I was looking for."

I'm glad it satisfied your needs.

January 21, 2007
6:33 pm
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Kroika

Thanks for that - I always find it interesting to hear a viewpoint of someone that wasn't raised in the US, listening to US news, and studying US history. Those folks have a different perspective than what we are taught.

January 21, 2007
7:46 pm
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Loralei ~ where am I going with that??

Of course that I am concerned with what kind of weapons are used to kill people. People are concerned about how animals are slaughtered; shouldn’t we be concerned how people are killed?

The fact that massacres occurred in history doesn’t justify the need to come up and/or use the weapon which massacre many people within seconds, not to mention the death toll for years after, and the environmental disaster resulting from it. After all, killing people is a daunting task, just remember the concentration camps, as an example: They were operating for close to 6 years and the biggest one killed 4 mln people. An atomic bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed or mortally injured 200 000 in an instant, and who knows how many deaths they caused from radiation in the years after the war. I’m sorry that you cannot see the difference here.

If you were a genius, wouldn’t you think twice about announcing your discovery paving a road to such destruction?

kroika ~ I am also tired of hearing that dropping atomic bomb of cities with mostly civilians by the way (unlike Pearl Harbor) was justified to end the war. Yes, it was “justified” as a demonstration of power after Soviet Union emerged as a great US opponent, having half of Europe under its control after winning the WWII. US old tactics didn’t change since, just the circumstances; there is always a pretext to invade one or another country or interfere in its politics for a “noble” cause.

January 21, 2007
7:57 pm
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Guest_guest ~ you’ve said:

“Its a great quote. Its like saying "What would Jesus have done?” (…)I wonder what objection you had with the quote.”

Ok, if you insist: Jesus is a prophet, a person, not God. Jesus didn’t create the Universe.
God is an Absolute Being nobody and nothing can be compared to in any way, including genius people, including Einstein. That’s my view, and with all due respect I really don’t want to discuss it any further.

January 21, 2007
10:36 pm
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When working on his theories of relativity Einstein was interested in discovering more about how the universe worked... Einstein was trying to come up with a better model/equation to explain and understand the universe. It wasn't until later that he realized its implications as a weapon.

He wrote his first five theories while working as a patent clerk in Switzerland. Amoung them was e=mc2 in an early form of it. They were all published when he was 26 (in 1905). It wasn't until 6 years later that he became a professor at a University in Germany. In 1915 he refined his theories of relativity (e=mc2). At the time he was still trying to better explain the universe. This was one of many theories he was working on and testing to see if they even were accurate. It wasn't until later on that anyone realized that his idea was true and even later than that where they thought of it for the war effort.

He didn't write the letter to Roosavelt until 1939-- 34 years after he came up with the idea that matter and energy were interchangable.

Einstein although he was great at theoritical physics was still a flesh and blood person. He had his weaknesses and faults, just like anyone else. He had wives and children (some even out of marriage and placed up for adoption) and rent and normal things to worry about too. He had a nervous breakdown at one point in his life from all the stress of daily living.

Just because someone excells in one area doesn't mean they suddenly become exempt from the trials and tribulations of life itself. It also doesn't make them an all knowing superhuman who can forsee the uses of their work.

I really don't buy into the ideas floating around here about Einstein knowing that his thoery was going to be used create an atomic bomb. At the time he didn't even know if it was true or not... it was one of many theories out there and being scrutinized and challenged by other scientists.

Science isn't as cut and dry as some might think... theories start as ideas that are then tested and found to fit the available information. For a scientist, most ideas are just ways to discover what doesn't work and eliminate possibilties in order to discover the truth. Only a few hypothesis/ideas fit after they have been tested.

January 22, 2007
12:17 am
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I have also read that the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project were not sure whether the chain reaction would stop with the fissionable material in the bomb, or would spread to the atmosphere.

When they tested the prototype at Alamagordo on July 16, 1945, there was some speculation that the chain reaction might consume all the oxygen in the atmosphere, and kill off all air-breathing life on Earth. Pretty big stakes to be gambling with :-0

The question of what use will be made of scientific discoveries has existed as long as there have been scientific discoveries... but I do think we are entering a time when we have to take stock of lessons previously learned. Decisions have to be made about what areas of research to pursue, and where to allocate finite resources. Just because we *can* do something, doesn't mean we *should* do that thing... and it is more than a little disingenuous at this late date to pretend that "pure science" can be pursued and not be put to use by powerful interests with not-so-pure agendas.

January 22, 2007
11:46 am
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Tez,
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein.

This is a quote I wish you would expound more upon. Would be interested to read your thoughts. I agree. And it is something I think people don't think about.

omw

January 22, 2007
4:28 pm
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"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein.

This reminds me of another saying: "Being cold is only a state of mind -- that you get whenver it's freezing outside."

January 22, 2007
4:39 pm
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This story--a somewhat known story, also has been talked about in several circles with no true answer--just like "is Einstein really responsible for the A-Bomb" You might find it interesting and ponder it if you would like.

Richard Wagner (1800s)--one of the greatest composers of Opera, was a self-taught music man. He wrote his own words and music for all of his operas and other works.

He also was a self taught man. He studied all of the religions and history of the world that existed at the time. He was greatly interested in Nietze (spelling is bad, I know).

Wagner eventually wrote his own ramblings on the importance of race and man. These writings were one of the things that Hitler based his beliefs on in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. Wagner was so much of an influence that Hitler ordered his music to be played in the concentration camps in Germany and Poland.

Now, is Wagner responsible for the Nazi party and their behaviors?

Some people think so. They banned his music for thirty years after WW2--some places still don't play it.

I will say my opinion later, if anyone is interested in discussing this one, but I think it goes along with blaming Einstein for the A-Bomb

s2

January 22, 2007
4:44 pm
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I was kind of thinking more like, we tend to think everyone's world is at times like our own. SO then we make our reality someone else's reality, when it isn't. And the reason we may do this is because to do anything else would remove us from our 'comfort zone'...because our comfort zone is our reality.

To me it is actually a very deep concept, worth exploring. In a sense we are our own little gods.

January 22, 2007
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Very interesting concept. Definitely worth exploring. Start a new thread with it, and see what other people think maybe.

January 22, 2007
5:02 pm
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okey dokey.

January 22, 2007
5:40 pm
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Hi.

On the 22-Jan-07 you wrote:

"Tez, "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." - Albert Einstein.

This is a quote I wish you would expound more upon. ... "

I can only give my understanding of this Einstein quote. I don't really know exactly what Einstein intended it to mean.

My understanding of what Einstein meant is this:

We humans, at the very least, tend to unconsciously objectify everything that we see and then take this objectification of ours as being 'self-evident' reality.

For example we first objectify and then label an ancient volcanic protrusion in the earth's surface as being a 'mountain'. We never think to look for the boundaries of this mountain to see if it has any basis for independent existence. We presume that this is 'mountain' and that is 'other than mountain' as if both were totally separate and clearly differentiated.

We do the same thing to a river and to the ocean, and to a raindrop etc. We delude ourselves that our reality is made up of a vast collection of independent objects all with separate self existence. Our words were invented as place-holding labels that fosters this delusion of separateness.

When it comes to us, we objectify our bodies, brain and mind as being subjected to a mysterious 'observer'. We say my body, my brain, my mind, my leg, my etc. We never stop to think where this mysterious 'observer', who is the 'I' or 'me' in our conversations, is to be found.

Neuroscientists cannot find this 'I' in the labyrinth of neural networks of the brain. Yet quantum physics states that the 'observer' is crucial in manifesting from a myriad of potential possibilities the one particular quantum manifestation that we so blithely label as an object. The absolute interconnectedness and total interdependence of all things is obvious to the quantum physicist, especially to Einstein when he was 'alive'. That consciousness plays a crucial part in 'physical' manifestations is obvious to the quantum physicist by not obvious to us at all. We falsely think that the outside world is independently impinging itself upon us not the opposite - that we, in unconscious collusion with other minds, are orchestrating our external reality ourselves in our own little corner of the universe instant by instant. This sounds like new age psychobabble. But this is the quantum physicists' party line, with which the Mind Only School of Buddhist thought fully concurs, I believe.

We ignorantly discriminate between consciousness and the physical world as if these were two were operating on two separate independent dimensions of existence.

I believe that Einstein saw
all this quite clearly. He saw that the commonly held view of reality was a complete delusion.

The movie "What the Bleep Do We Know" is a brave new attempt to use the power of modern cinematography to present some idea of what Einstein meant by that statement of his. I don't go along with everything in that movie. I'm somewhat leery about J.S. Knight and Dr. Emoto. But the rest of the scientists did a convincing job in presenting their views, I thought.

Despite the millions who have seen the movie, nothing much seems to have changed. The persistence of the commonly held illusion of reality is very strong.

If you are still not following me, then another simple example on a macro level is that of your motor car. In your mind's eye you see your car as a clearly defined object, do you not? If during the night a hoard of mischievous auto mechanics dismantled your car and left it in a complete pile of parts on your front lawn would you see that pile of parts as a motor car or as just a pile of car parts? Would those car parts behave like a motor car? No they would behave like a pile of car parts and take you nowhere. You would most likely re-label your car as a 'pile of car parts' when you ring the police. Of course each part now would have it's own label. If one particular part was scrutinized for a signature spanner mark by a forensic scientist using an electron microscope he would label the molecular structures as well. Objectification all the way down to what? Energy patterns and energy itself - whatever that is? Then we humans objectify the very Essence of Being itself calling it God! This is the ultimate blasphemy - creating the Ultimate Ground of Being in our own physical, psychological and emotional image and likeness. We therein have built stultifying religious dogma around our delusions.

Back to the more mundane, macro level, thus a car is dependent upon humans correctly assembling all its parts and tuning them. It requires the input of gasoline, oil, water and air for it to function. It requires good roads and a good driver to ensure its performance. It requires ongoing maintenance to keep it functioning. Yet we isolate the motor car as a 'real' independent object in our mind don't we.

In one part of his philosophy of reality, the Shakyamuni Buddha, Gautama, expounded the same point of view as Einstein in this regard. Whilst Einstein was not a Buddhist, he saw the scientific underpinnings of Buddhist thought and their philosophy even though the Buddhists themselves know/knew next to nothing about the theories of quantum physics. That is why I think Einstein made the below statement:

"... ... If ever there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." - Albert Einstein.

January 22, 2007
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Tez,

I do understand what you are saying. A car is a good example of the tangible, and I know yo uonly used it as an example. But what about the intangible? Do you think that there is really an answer so to speak? Your writings above before the car example is in my opinion right on....are people really just so random in their thinking?

"When it comes to us, we objectify our bodies, brain and mind as being subjected to a mysterious 'observer'. We say my body, my brain, my mind, my leg, my etc. We never stop to think where this mysterious 'observer', who is the 'I' or 'me' in our conversations, is to be found."

EXACTLY. Only I am not yet sure where to go with this concept.

"... ... If ever there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." - Albert Einstein.

Eistein's quote is interesting in the sense that it uses the word to "cope" with. I wonder why he thought that no other religion could "cope" with modern scientific needs.

January 22, 2007
10:25 pm
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Tez you wrote "I believe that Einstein saw all this quite clearly. He saw that the commonly held view of reality was a complete delusion."

Well, a delusion it can only be.

Consider the following. What we consider to be reality is based primarily upon our physical senses and somewhat upon our cognitive abilities to sense the abstract. Our 5 senses dictate our reality. But what about those lacking one or more? it is impossible to adequately explain to a blind person what color is, for example. Or to explain to a deaf person the sound of birds singing in the morning. We can only relate to other senses, creating analogies with which to compare and consequently form some type of comprehension. But if the sense is lacking, then that particular sensation can never be truly known and experienced. consequently, the deaf persons, or the blind persons, etc., reality differs from yours or mine.

As for the cognitively abstract: we sense the world to be linear, yet virtually everything we know about our space shows it to be curved. We just can't sense the curvature until it's portrayed on a large enough scale. For example, when we look to the horizon, we think we see straight. But we don't- we are lokking over curvature.

ah, the curvature thing goes deep. But how about this- a fly or bee sees the world as octagons. So who is right? Is the world octagonal, linear, curved, what?

We can't know. What we percieve is simply an illusion due to the confinement of our senses. We create what we percieve from our illusion thus giving rise to our delusion. We think the universe is how and what we think it should be. But....

free

January 23, 2007
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free,

These are very interesting thoughts. So you are saying it is all about perception? Do you think that 'perception' is either right or wrong?

January 23, 2007
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free

I wholeheartedly agree with your post of 22-Jan-07.

Further, people totally blind from birth, when they experience an NDE, find that they can see just as well as a sighted NDE'r. This makes sense since even a sighted NDE'r is blind by virtue of the complete dilation of the pupils, eyes closed, brain non-functioning etc.

Thus consciousness unrestricted by the body in an NDE seems to have 20-20 vision even into the minds of those still living!

Yet still a delusion of self-hood seems to persist, even in the NDE/OOBE itself.

It seems to me that Einstein might be talking about freeing oneself from the delusional constraints or boundaries created by the ego-mind.

January 23, 2007
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On the 22-Jan-07 you wrote:

"I wonder why he thought that no other religion could "cope" with modern scientific needs."

Well ... with the advances being made in the scientific field of quantum physics, the concept of God of the Christian, Muslim, Hindi, etc understanding, who is a Super-Being, will in all probability be demolished by being shown to be just superstitious, primitive beliefs left over from our tribal days.

Thus all theistic religions will in all probability find themselves at odds with coming scientific beliefs about the nature of reality, including their Gods.

Buddhism on the other hand has no God. In fact Buddhism, especially the Mind Only School, by the very nature of its beliefs, is primed to slot in quite well with the abovementioned advances in science.

The last thing that science needs is the Vatican Inquisition on its back with a re-run of the notorious heresy trials of yesteryear. But the church has lost most of its power over science these days. They are fighting a losing battle over contraception, divorce, homosexuality, stem cell research - you name it. Science has illuminated the minds of the community at large and churches are fighting for their very credibility now.

This is why I think Einstein made the above statement about theistic religions not "coping" with advances made in the field of quantum physics.

January 23, 2007
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I have to agree with you. I do believe this is where the world is headed. However there are many believers who are "non-Vaticans" who will hold out until the very end, and who will not give up their beliefs. But in light of the Vatican, it is a very grey area. But if Buddhism has no god, doesn't that in a sense make Buddhists their own little gods? How can one be a god, and at the same time, rid oneself of the 'self'? Isn't this a contradiction of sorts?

I guess it all boils down to what one believes, lives and supports...what one's reality is and what it is based on.

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