Category: Science


Modular Mind and Natural Conditioning

Do we have a choice about conditioning?

This is an important question that is not asked because our 1%-system benefits from people not being aware that they are conditioned. This system promotes greed, valuing accumulation as prestige or status. Whilst there are some good people who reject this attachment to greed and the damage it causes to the planet and humanity, most just accept the conditioning that greed is acceptable and join in with it.

Once this greed is accepted there is much damage against Natural Law. This acceptance of personal accumulation is leading to economic catastrophe as discussed here. We already have environmental devastation through exploitation by the accumulators, and to top that off the accumulators, Koch Brothers, pay for climate denial to further promote their greed. How senseless is this. Even less sensible is the way this need for accumulation causes global war and suffering, and on a personal level leads to wage-slavery.

Whilst accepting greed is the worst aspect of the conditioning it is not the only aspect of conditioning that is damaging. In this post scepticism leads people like Rupert Sheldrake to question fundamental scientific dogma. When our scientific establishment fails to examine its own conditioning and presents us with limited knowledge of who we are as humans, how we interact together, how we act together as ONE planet then we have to question science and its education – we have to question the basis of education as a whole, but we don’t.

Failure to examine our conditioning is against Natural Law. So it is necessary to understand what conditioning is and how it arises. Above I have described the worst aspects of conditioning, and whilst much of this conditioning benefits the 1% and their political system it is far from being the only conditioning that is happening. Conditioning is happening all the time from the smallest and least important to the drastic acceptance of accumulation and its global impact.

Here is a limited version of the important teaching of paticcasamuppada (law of dependent origination) or as Buddhadasa describes it Idappaccayata-paticcasamuppada in order to stress that it is Natural Law:-

This is discussed in detail by Matriellez in mindfulness meditation and mindfulness generally.

But let us consider it here. We experience something through our sense – this can include a thought or idea. We react emotionally to this thought or idea, we desire or are averse to this experience, we feel strongly about it – one way or the other, and as a result it becomes added to our modular mind. Once added to our modular mind we have been conditioned.

Let us consider this notion of modular mind. Science is not willing to reach agreement as to the nature of mind preferring to accept different views; one such view is that of modular mind. This view says that mind aggregates various “selves” as part of a modular mind, and dependent origination is a description of the way such selves could arise. These aggregated selves are created through sense experiences that are clung to as a self – this is conditioning through sense experience. Personally this is how I understand mind to work but for science/academia I present this in an observational way – a forced “deception”.

This is a natural process of conditioning but because we don’t examine this conditioning process through education it becomes an oppressive process as we have no control of it. Desire as greed is natural but it needs to be curbed. Some religions will tell you greed is bad but mostly as humans we are subject to propaganda that enforces the acceptability of such greed by glamourising the lives of the rich and famous. Because of this repetitive clinging greed becomes more and more entrenched as part of our selves – our modular mind. We accept that we are greedy.

In examining this process of conditioning in which selves are added to the modular mind we can see a way through the problem. There is the experience that becomes part of the modular mind. If we are clinging to the experience that is hard to fight, once the desire arises it is also hard to fight, even just liking or disliking is difficult to work through, so if we want to control our conditioning then we need to intercept any formation of emotion, desire or clinging. Matriellez was discussing this in regards to mindfulness meditation, and suggested using watchfulness in meditation to intercept the forming of selves through emotion, desire and clinging.

There is a conditioning moment – phassa (discussed here) in which we can intercept the self from forming. We can stop the conditioning. Education could choose to stop the conditioning (Matriellez discusses it on this page). Science could choose to be sceptical of its 10 dogmas. Our system could choose to be wary of what are real and imaginary economic transactions and control them. There is a choice, there is a conditioning moment that we can choose to control or not; BUT we don’t.

Once we become aware that we are conditioned then we can begin to intercept the formation of new conditioned selves. But by that time of life the problem is that our minds are conditioned through upbringing and education. So the problem is similar but different, how do we remove the conditioning? The process is similar in the sense that we use meditation to examine the modular mind for selves that have aggregated there, and once we recognise these aggregations we can examine see them for the conditioning they are and remove the clinging, desire and emotion that put them there in the first place.

At this point we have recognised conditioning, we can choose to prevent that conditioning from arising, and also work on the conditioning that has arisen. So that leaves the question, what happens to us if there is no conditioning? Do we stop functioning if all there is is conditioned selves?

Buddhadasa described us as having 4 systems; according to Santikharo, who is generally recognised as Buddhadasa’s conduit to the West, this was what he was working on towards his death. These systems are described as body, psyche, self and emptiness, and I have summarised these 4 systems in this meme:-

Through our conditioning we aggregate selves to the self-system. In a sense this self system blocks access to “emptiness”, I choose the Pali word Sunnata for this emptiness; Buddhadasa described it as Void mind, void of self. So through our deconditioning we remove selves leaving access to sunnata, and this sunnata is what enables us to function.

Well almost completely. If there is only sunnata we are not alive. For the optimum state of life we need human functioning but without conditioning – no selves, so that within that optimum state we are functioning through sunnata. But our humanity is maintained through the 5 khandas, body -rupa, vedana – feeling, sanna – memories and perceptions, sankhara – mental operations and vinnana – consciousness; Buddhadasa divided these as body and psyche. How does this work? These khandas are the basic arena of sense experience (as described in dependent origination). And humans need sense experience. But what happens to that sense experience, is it just left as is? No, we allow it to become selves through the process of emotions, desire and clinging, so that these sense experiences become my sense experience (having accumulated in the modular mind). But if we do not allow these sense experiences to form as selves (attach) in the modular mind, then we can experience life as it is meant to be experienced – through sunnata.

This is the Natural Law. Within this law there is the conditioning of selves as a natural process, there is the point at which we choose whether to allow conditioning, and there are the ways we can remove the conditioning (meditation or otherwise) that allow us to live naturally – through sunnata.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

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Sheldrake’s 10 Dogmas


Here are Rupert Sheldrake’s 10 dogmas as discussed in this TED talk that has supposedly been banned so the internet says (My Drive or Mega link – Mega link cannot be used in Chrome).

1 Nature is mechanical.
2 Matter is unconscious.
3 Laws of nature are fixed.
4 Total amount of matter and energy doesn’t change.
5 Nature has no purpose, evolution has no purpose.
6 Biological heredity is material, everything is in your genes.
7 Memories are stored inside your brain.
8 Your mind is inside your head.
9 Psychic phenomena are impossible.
10 Mechanistic medicine is the only medicine that works.

There is an arrogance in science that scientific knowledge precedes any social application. This arrogance is in some ways natural in that decisions on action should be based on well understood knowledge but this arrogance is also fostered by an academic system that encourages it amongst those they educate. But it can be argued that this is far from the case. When a justification for action or policy is needed there is always an academic with such a justification, a theory, a model. It is more than likely that there are always academics with diverse opinions and the powers-that-be simply choose the one most suited.

However climate science must show the scientists that science does not direct. Across the board science has warned about human impact on the environment but governments have ignored this impact in certain areas. Back in the 80s when people became more conscious of the environment householders changed their practices, whilst there is still some room for improvement this change has had limited impact on the environment. Yet the environmental impact has worsened because of industrial pollution. Because governments are not in charge and because industry would lose too many profits the Koch brothers amongst others have funded climate denial. This is clear evidence that finance directs scientific study.

So how does this arrogance and financial direction fit in with Sheldrake’s dogmas? To understand that it is necessary to recognise that science is part of the establishment, and if it is part of the establishment then it is part of our conditioning. As such any sensible sceptic has got to be questioning science’s dogmas as Sheldrake is doing. Question conditioning, question science; arrogance certainly fits in with that as the arrogant don’t question themselves. And as the establishment is a 1%-system there will be connections between finance and science.

It is however most important to see the conditioning role of science. There is the science that is not religion based on Bacon’s dichotomy. This can be seen in dogmas 1,2,3,5,6,8,9 which if questioned would start to examine religious beliefs such as Unity, human experiences that are beyond the routine, and far far more as if they were knowledge. Probably based on my own bias I look at this list and see a connection between the dogmas and profits. Specifically 1 and 10 which accept a mechanistic view, and this mechanistic view is easily converted to the established profit-making machine. Dogma 10 is also the lynchpin of sbm which I have discussed here. Within these dogmas I see a mechanistic limitation of the human capacity, we are far more than any mechanistic explanation – reminds me of Fritjof Capra’s “Turning Point”. But if we recognise that we are far more, then we are less likely to accept our roles as wage-slaves.

One way of describing being free from conditioning is pure scepticism, previously I have used pure enquiry – to me there is no difference. However I do not see sceptics such as sbm as pure sceptics. I described them as one-way sceptics, sceptics whose process is to support a version of science that would not question Sheldrake’s 10 dogmas. Emotionally I could describe the sbm as the church of dogma 10.

Once there is an acceptance of conditioning there is not an acceptance of Natural Law (Idappaccayata). Whilst I know Buddhadasa would not accept conditioning as Natural I need to be more informed to better explain why!!!! Sheldrake has dogmas 1,3,5 about Nature effectively bringing in a version of Idappaccayata but how far?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Natural Law

Buddhadasa calls Natural Law Idappaccayata (first talk of 8), this is really what I am talking about – idappaccayata. It becomes a feeling, a sense, an understanding of what is natural. He then goes on to talk about paticcasamuppada as natural law, and again I don’t have a problem with that. Whilst natural law is objective it almost feels as if it is a subjective thing. And this of course is a problem.

Let me try to be clearer by contrasting natural law with science. To my mind natural law and science ought to be the same. I discussed Bacon’s dichotomy for taxonomy that later turned into science and religion LINK. Prior to Bacon what was considered natural law was also seen as knowledge.

Now the divisions between science and religion have been cemented by business. It suits BigPharma not to have various “natural cures” as healing because such healing cannot be patented and therefore cannot be profited from. Why are those natural cures “natural law”? Basically paticcasamuppada is about causes and conditions. Let’s examine a cause and condition. The chi is blocked on a meridian and unblocking that meridian with an acupuncture needle leads to healing. Now the evidence (see quote below) supports this causes and conditions approach to healing through acupuncture. I suggest this healing follows a natural law that science does not accept because it cannot measure chi.

Homeopathy I know much less about but its basic principle if to give a little of what you don’t want and the body builds up an immunity. Again I am limited on this but isn’t that what vaccines are about? Science supports them against an internet-based movement. What is the difference between homeopathy and vaccines? BigPharma.

It is my understanding that Ayurveda is a natural-based medicine – follows natural laws. I think naturopathy and Ayurveda are connected, so I suggest naturopathy follows natural law.

Apart from acupuncture none of the above can I give serious commitment to as I just don’t know. What I am seeking is an understanding of natural law in a context other than spiritual. As yet I don’t have one.

This has not really gone anywhere – apart from the usual acupuncture. Idappaccayata is natural law based on causes and conditions. I am seeking an understanding of the conditioning point so it must be connected. But this blogpost has little more than contention.

Below:- In the study of acupuncture trials, 252 of 1085 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Research conducted in certain countries was uniformly favorable to acupuncture; all trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were positive, as were 10 out of 11 of those published in Russia/USSR. In studies that examined interventions other than acupuncture, 405 of 1100 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Of trials published in England, 75% gave the test treatment as superior to control. The results for China, Japan, Russia/USSR, and Taiwan were 99%, 89%, 97%, and 95%, respectively. No trial published in China or Russia/USSR found a test treatment to be ineffective. From here. Note the one-way sceptic conclusion that the evidence is so overwhelming it must be biassed – without consideration of their own bias.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Is Acupuncture Medical Knowledge?


I would have preferred to have as a title “Is Acupuncture Applied Science?” because medicine tends to be recognised as applied science, but if I use that title the answer is prejudiced by such as the one-way sceptics at Science-Based Medicine.

I therefore have changed the blog title although I will return to the issue. First and foremost when you ask if medicine works who is it you ask? The patient. If a patient is cured, then that means the treatment probably works but needs to be verified. In China especially patients have been cured and they repeatedly go back for treatment. This tends to suggest a valid treatment, strong evidence.

However as a sceptic this is not proof. To investigate we start with patients. And here is the problem with science measuring the success of acupuncture, their western machines cannot measure the chi. As a reminder acupuncture sees itself as a chi-based system in which the chi should be balanced. The chi also runs along meridians and if those meridians are blocked disease arises. If your machines cannot measure chi, yet it is a chi-based system then science that does not believe in chi cannot measure. To determine whether acupuncture works, it is not good to use a system that does not believe in the structural framework.

So before we can answer the question “Is Acupuncture Medical Knowledge?”, we have to either determine whether the chi exists or we need to find an alternative methodology; science-based medicine has not attempted to do that.

As a statistician I would try to design an experiment in which similar symptoms and disease has been treated by acupuncture. If various combination of needle placements are supposed to fix a disease, then I would try to find patients with those symptoms and then apply the treatment. I don’t know that science-based medicine has done that.

I have previously argued that there is 3000 years of evidence regarding the efficacy of acupuncture. Here is a paragraph from the one-way sceptics that describes that evidence:-

“In the study of acupuncture trials, 252 of 1085 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Research conducted in certain countries was uniformly favorable to acupuncture; all trials originating in China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were positive, as were 10 out of 11 of those published in Russia/USSR. In studies that examined interventions other than acupuncture, 405 of 1100 abstracts met the inclusion criteria. Of trials published in England, 75% gave the test treatment as superior to control. The results for China, Japan, Russia/USSR, and Taiwan were 99%, 89%, 97%, and 95%, respectively. No trial published in China or Russia/USSR found a test treatment to be ineffective.” from here.

Now this looks like good evidence that acupuncture works. In fact the figures might well be too good. As a sceptic I would try to find whether the investigations have been manipulated. But until I found such I would have to say the evidence is good that acupuncture works.

Here is what science-based medicine said “This is important to the understanding of the acupuncture literature, as many of the positive studies are coming out of China. The unrealistically high percentage of positive studies makes the Chinese body of clinical literature very suspect.” from here. Suspect, maybe, but given the wealth of evidence in favour of acupuncture a scientist needs to accept the conclusions. Surely if there is such a preponderance of suspect literature, it would be easy to find dubious “studies”. But science-based medicine does not accept the conclusions, has found no dubious studies, and continues to attack acupuncture treatments. This is not sound science. As a sceptic I would also consider such numbers high, but I would need far more evidence than statistical scepticism to imply such a body of evidence is “lies”. And when you consider the level of influence BigPharma has on western medicine the source of the conclusions is more likely to be funding pressure than scientific veracity.

Let me push at the personal boundaries here. Undoubtedly there is Chinese national pride in acupuncture so as a sceptic I must question. However western science also demonstrates its own pride feeling that its own academia is the best in the world – more than likely true. But making a statement that implies that because the figures are high they must be rigged is simply disguised racism. This is supposed to be science-based medicine so the metier of criticism is science. I am sure that the studies in China and elsewhere were published in journals, and I am equally sure such journals had some sort of academic rigour prior to publication. Examine that rigour, point out erroneous assumptions, question experimental methodology. Without applying this sort of criteria and drawing the conclusion they have done has meant that SBM is little more than western pride and disguised racism.

Why does consideration of acupuncture fit in with mindfulness methodology? What is the conditioning point? That is the question. SBM dismisses China’s evidence yet at the same time they do not recognise their own vested interest in supporting a system that is funded by BigPharma – nor do they recognise their own institutional academic pride. Their scepticism is one-way. As a sceptic I would question the evidence in China but I could not dismiss it based simply on scepticism as the evidence is too strong.

This would mean that there would need to be appropriately-funded research. The design of the experiment would have to be extremely robust in terms of:-

a) Effectively measuring the functioning of acupuncture within its environment.
b) Allowing such sceptics as SBM to have unbiassed access to the design.
c) Not requiring western-based machines that cannot measure chi to be part of the design
d) Having a design that could test success or failure without needing to accept the chi framework.

I doubt whether BigPharma would be willing to fund such an experiment, and given the plethora of evidence in China why should the onus of funding be on them. UNESCO might be a way forward but their ties are western and BigPharma influence might be too strong.

BigPharma’s business strategy cannot realistically be access to the Chinese market, however it can be limiting western acceptance of acupuncture. Appealing to racism that dismisses Chinese science would fit in with such a strategy.

“Is Acupuncture Applied Medical Science?” ought to be the title of this blogpost but science dismisses the existence of chi without appropriate scientific investigation. The reasons for this are not scientifically clear given the high proportion of people on earth who accept the existence of chi and prana. As patents cannot be taken out on “nature” and as there can therefore be no profits to BigPharma, my scepticism indicates BigPharma influence as to why science is not currently investigating the chi.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Investigating cancer research


As a sceptic I wish to investigate cancer and cancer research, if ever there was an area of medicine in which sound scepticism and ensuing investigation with unbiased integrity was needed it is cancer research.

On the one hand there is radiation treatment and chemotherapy. Doctors who use such treatments claim that the science supports them. However the results of such treatments produce such tremendously awful side effects, many people question whether the treatments are worth it. These treatments kill healthy and cancer cells, and the doctors who use the treatments are apologetic but say there is nothing else.

Here is the problem there are people who claim there is something else. There is a huge bank of anecdotal evidence that various treatments have worked. Such treatments include

Macrobiotics
Gerson
Burszynski
Cannabis
Laetrile
Simoncini and Sodium Bicarbonate

and more ….

Not only this but some of these treatments especially Gerson and Burszynski claim they have carefully documented scientific evidence to support their treatments. Yet despite people donating huge amounts of money to cancer research charities these alternative treatments are not investigated.

As a sceptic I do not accept any conditioned conclusions. With regards to the existing practices I have many questions, and these revolve around the current cancer treatment practices. I have the feeling that many oncologists accept chemotherapy because there is nothing better. But what about research into this decision? Are the side effects more harmful than the benefits of the treatment?

As far as I know there are different chemotherapy drugs used for different types of cancer, are these known and established? Is it known that such a drug will work on such a cancer for all the various stages? When does such a drug not work?

Are there cancers in which there is no treatment?

What appears to be happening to me is that mainstream medicine does not have any choices and chooses chemo. This is not a scientific approach unless there is evidence to support the chemicals in all situations.

The real problem that exists with evaluation of existing cancer treatments is the control of the research process that BigPharma has. As a sceptic it seems reasonable to ask the above questions, and from a neutral perspective all humans would like verified answers. Critics of the situation claim that BigPharma inhibits any research that would reduce the use of their drugs. As a sceptic I want those questions answered. I do not see sceptics such as the SBM even asking the questions. It should also be noted here the control that medical insurance has on the choice of treatment, chemo is accepted by insurance; here BigPharma and the finance industry are hand-in-hand.

From a different perspective what about the alternative treatments? SBM and similar science sceptics dismiss them as not even worth investigating. Yet there is a great deal of anecdotal evidence where claims that each of these treatments has “cured cancer”. As a sceptic I want such anecdotes investigated. It is not sufficient to dismiss such evidence because it does not fit the existing recovery model – which appear to many simply to be chemo or not.

As a sceptic I want such “evidence” investigated in an unbiassed way. There is a “huge” amount of anecdotal evidence that could contribute to legitimate scientific knowledge. To me this is what a sceptic should be asking for not taking a partisan side that only supports the status quo. Especially as such a status quo has got to be influenced by the power and influence of BigFood, BigPharma and finance.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Sceptic

I am an unashamed sceptic. I ought to feel empathy with sites such as science-based medicine (SBM) but I don’t because all that I observe is bias. It is important to place this bias in a context, and that comes back to my scepticism. I am sceptical of all knowledge that arises out of human conditioning.

Our human conditioning arises as attachment to the 5 khandas and such attachment leads to suffering. But within this suffering lies a political and economic system that is geared towards war and wage-slavery and accumulation of wealth to the 1%. Within this overview there is power and influence that cascades down throughout all the institutions and transactions within our society. This influence is not always immediate. There is not a member of the 1% tasked with engineering our education system yet our education system churns out wage-slaves generation after generation.

The institution of science also does not have a member of the 1% in charge but because of the amount of money the 1% have their influence is extremely powerful. At the whim of a member of the 1% a university establishment could survive, and university administrators have to be conscious of this. If a university wanted to research GMO’s they know they could incur the wrath of BigFood as demonstrated by what happened to Seralini.

At the same time BigPharma has similar influence. When you look at the legal actions being conducted by the Society for SBM you can see attacks on alternative therapies. Who financially gains the most from attacks on these therapies? BigPharma. It is not necessary for BigPharma to directly step in with a wad, it is sufficient for SSBM to know that their activities will continue to be funded because what they do is in the interest of BigPharma. Scientists whose questioning leads them to investigate naturopathy from a negative standpoint know that there will be support. Scientists who would like to promote naturopathy want to investigate the benefits of naturopathy, but will not have financial support. But neither of these are science as science is supposed to be objective.

When I was doing my MEd it was a course requirement to have case studies so I interviewed 20 people who had experience in the area my dissertation was investigating – anti-racism. I chose 20 black people who were active in promoting black interest in Manchester, and drew inferences that contributed to my M Ed. This approach of case studies is termed qualitative research. My sample was biased, no random choice of people, such randomness is not a requirement of qualitative research even though it is the bedrock of quantitative research. For my dissertation to be considered part of education research I only needed to include transcripts of the case studies.

Another description of such case studies could be anecdotal evidence, it was the anecdotal evidence of these 20 people which was accepted as qualitative research. When it comes to these alternative therapies there is much anecdotal evidence that needs to be investigated. It is not sufficient for sceptics working with SBM to dismiss the anecdotes, and establish new data based on their own criteria – whether valid or not. There are case studies that need explaining and it is not sufficient to effectively call all these people liars because their anecdotes do not fit in with a particular experiment that the SBM chooses. I believe there are strong connections between naturopathy and Ayurveda, is the SBM being scientific to dismiss the centuries of practice and anecdote that makes up the Ayurvedic tradition? Because the SBM is dismissing evidence as opposed to investigating it I consider the SBM approach indicates bias, and as such must have its conclusions questioned. Statistically the SBM are biased.

I am now going to discuss acupuncture. For you to judge the validity of what I have to say I must put out there that I have regularly been to acupuncturists and believe they have helped me. If I make an experiment in which the sample is 1 and observe through a qualitative approach whether acupuncture is beneficial, acupuncture would measure better than mainstream western medicine. I would however not claim any statistical or scientific basis to this experiment I have just conducted.

I do however greatly welcome any appropriate scientific investigation into acupuncture but to do this the tools of science are limited. If we choose the laboratories and machines of western science establishments then acupuncture is unlikely to measure as successful. This is because these science methodologies have eschewed historically investigation into phenomena such as the chi which following the Bacon dichotomy has become embraced as religion. However acupuncture was an established tradition of healing long before Bacon’s sensible taxonomy was manipulated by blind academia.

For science to be statistically seen as having investigated acupuncture without bias this tradition needs to be explained as false. I think this would prove difficult. There is an understanding of the human body that is at the basis of acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture and TCM in general sees the chi as flowing through meridians (chi channels) in the human body, and if these channels become blocked then disease arises. To unblock this chi needles are placed along the meridians and this produces healing. This methodology has been understood for centuries.

At the same time another criterion of generally accepted science has been repeatedly demonstrated by acupuncture treatment, the treatment can be repeated and still work. It would be easy to design experiments that could demonstrate this. But if this were demonstrated it would be hard for acupuncture to be dismissed. Equally it would be hard to dismiss the centuries of tradition amongst more people than western medicine has treated. To refute acupuncture SBM sceptics do not involve themselves in empirical verification nor do they examine the documented nature of centuries of treatment. Instead they carry out experiments using their own methodologies that do not measure chi in any way, and then decide that acupuncture cannot be scientifically proven. This ignoring of evidence is biased, and this lack of empirical investigation is biased. So statistically the methods of SBM are again not acceptable.

The SBM characterises the sceptic movement on the internet and elsewhere. These sceptics do not investigate science itself, they don’t investigate the bias that science shows especially with regards to phenomena that fall outside of the “normal” purview of science. Yet as a sceptic that is something I would like to see investigated. Based on this cursory examination of their supposed scientific method, I have to conclude the SBM and the wider sceptic movement are not investigating with appropriate scientific rigour with regards to phenomena outside their rigid purview.

Given the influence of BigFood and BigPharma, it is a reasonable observation to see the bias of these organisations and people as being affected. I am not suggesting causality, nor direct funding, nor even a lack of integrity on the part of the members. It is simply this. What they do is support BigFood and BigPharma. Do they want to do this?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

How Funded Science works

Is mindfulness meditation science? I saw this asked and answered definitively here. I examined this site and discovered an organisation (Society for Science-Based Medicine) who were funded as a campaign group to denounce everything that is not BigPharma. Steven Novella is a denier, and he belongs to a club of deniers the society for science-based medicine. A climate denier is someone paid to debunk the legitimate science of climate change, this guy is paid to deny anything that is not BigPharma science. Why? Profits. In the West therapies are eating into the profits of Big Pharma, people are choosing to go to practitioners who do not use BigPharma’s drugs; this campaign group are trying to mess with the law to make it harder for practitioners who do not use BigPharma drugs.

I have a yardstick – acupuncture. These deniers describe acupuncture as randomly-placed needles so whether you agree with acupuncture as medicine no researcher could legitimately describe it as that. I then discovered this Guardian article about acupuncture sceptics in which Steve Novella was quoted and BigPharma bells rang. The article only discusses acupuncture in terms of the UK rather than considering it as part of TCM which has been practised for 3000 years; only the West matters!! One of the hidden axioms of science is that it is funding-driven, this appears to be that type of dubious “climate-denial” science.

Further investigation of the source of this mindfulness link led me to the Society for Science-Based Medicine website, it is a campaigning group against all treatments that do not use BigPharma’s drugs. Here is a course given by Harriet Hall, she probably believes it.

This is just a list of therapies.

She was sponsored by the James Randi Foundation wiki. The Foundation was originally paranormal so why are therapies being investigated? My conclusion – money. It is a good association for BigPharma to link therapies with the paranormal. In the wiki it has 2 employees with a budget of nearly a million dollars every year. If this is not funded science I don’t know what is. 3000 years of acupuncture tradition being investigated by a paranormal organisation!! And they call it science. I went further to National Capital Area Sceptics and gave up. Was I naive enough to think I would find Breitbart or Monsanto?

Do I really need to follow the money when you consider the way the organisation functions?

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Blogs:- Gindsukapaapdee, Matriellez, Zandtao.

Reason, danger in Vedanta

I am in the middle of watching Frank Huguenard’s movie “Beyond Reason”. It turns out that the movie is about Vedanta, I have nothing against Vedanta – it is not my tradition – but if I had known I probably wouldn’t have watched it.

Before I go into the movie I must make my usual caveat. Vedanta is a long established tradition, from before the Buddha, so in discussions about Vedanta it is understandable that they don’t talk about the 1%, but in his introduction to the actual Vedanta (32.00 mins) Frank discusses happiness. Basically he says science does not bring happiness, his emphasis being on the development of science and why it hasn’t brought happiness. At this point it could have been appropriate to say that the 1% are the problem, but throughout the movie’s emphasis is on science because they are emphasising that Vedanta is a type of scientific method. But in so doing they ignore the reality of socity as it is, they do not explicitly express the awareness that the primary factor that contemporaneously is preventing spiritual development is the 1%-system.

I was first attracted by the clear exposition of the history and dichotomy of knowledge by the Elder Brothers, they then went on to discuss quantum mechanics which I found interesting, which I suspect is true because of their understanding of science, but which I don’t know for sure. But then began discussion of Vedanta, literally the “culmination of knowledge”. Basically there was an appeal to the rational. There was an attempt to show that Vedanta was a scientific method with its own axioms and methodology – primarily raja yoga. They are the teachers – it is their tradition, but for me this leaves a gaping chasm that can lead to poor practice. The axioms and methodology of Vedanta are concerned with an examination of the mind through raja yoga. It is not about books, Frank’s analogy was that to learn to swim you must go in the water – no amount of reading about swimming can teach you to swim.

But here is the chasm that I am so concerned about. Our education system teaches us that all is rational, and if a system of understanding such as Vedanta places itself on a parallel with that supposed education system of rationality, then western students are instinctively drawn to reason and so will not go “Beyond Reason” – Frank’s title and purpose of the movie. Undoubtedly the movie makes clear that currently science does not seek knowledge (the 1% don’t want us to know they want us to accept their system), what needs to be emphasised is that Vedanta is a genuine search for knowledge as opposed to the rational science and technology that has been hijacked by the 1% for their profit-making. Vedanta is not concerned with profit, it is about understanding, truth and therefore happiness, values completely alien to the science the 1% has diverted.

Here is Frank’s scientific approach:-

This is a compromise game on the part of the teachers and presenters whose rationale goes something like this:- western students accept academic science so to involve them in Vedanta we will use the same terminology that academia uses. The danger is that western students will then use the same distorted minds – distorted by an extreme over-emphasis on the faculty of reason, and approach the learning of Vedanta with the same academic distortion of their upbringing – NEVER going beyond reason.

Now I am certain that Vedanta, as a scientific methodology in its own terms of searching for knowledge, can lead to an understanding of the spiritual Path – even though I don’t practice it, but the scientific methodology that Vedanta must practice has to be greatly different to the scientific methodology practised by academia. I met an academic and we got involved with a long discussion about Insight and reason. He sought the transcendence discussed in the movie. However all that he did was take the discussion of Insight to be an expansion of the academic rationality, so whilst he knew in some sense the importance of transcendence he never transcended because all he saw was rationality. Beyond reason is essential, comparing Vedanta methodology with science creates dangers.

There are a series of movies by Frank Huguenard entitled “Beyond”:-

Beyond me

Beyond belief

Beyond reason

Anything that is beyond pleases me. However they haven’t gone down too well, Beyond Me sent me to sleep. The creator, Frank Huhuenard, is from a Vedanta tradition. This doesn’t make him right or wrong – it is just not my tradition so I am not knowledgeable about it.

But anyone who is beyond his tradition has got to be listened to so I must persevere. And I did so a little to hear the Elder brothers giving an excellent description of science. There are discussions about science and knowledge in my earlier blogs but for sound-byte culture here is a short clip (15 mins) of the dichotomy of knowledge into science and religion relegating non-measurable knowledge into the realms of superstition.

Because that was so sound I have included this clip on quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is beyond me, not a good beyond – I don’t understand it. Because their discussion on science so resonates with me I have included this clip on quantum mechanics without understanding it. The clip on science exposes science as not being knowledge, quantum mechanics has an image of explaining all; the Elder brothers places parts in the realms of intellect and not knowledge. I don’t know how to go into the intricacies of what they presented but I am happy with what they say.

Ignorance – avijja

avijjá: ‘ignorance,’ nescience, unknowing; synonymous with delusion (moha, s. múla), is the primary root of all evil and suffering in the world, veiling man’s mental eyes and preventing him from seeing the true nature of things. It is the delusion tricking beings by making life appear to them as permanent, happy, substantial and beautiful and preventing them from seeing that everything in reality is impermanent, liable to suffering, void of ‘I’ and ‘mine’, and basically impure (s. vipallása). Ignorance is defined as ‘not knowing the four truths, namely, suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the way to its cessation’ (S. XII, 4).

This is a definition for avijja taken from a Buddhist Dictionary. It goes beyond what I wish to discuss here but it is mainly the first sentence I wish to use. The problem with ignorance is that it is susceptible to the claim that it is just your opinion. In the above definition, the second sentence is typical of this. Buddhists, including myself, believe impermanence, liable to suffering and void of I (Pali – anicca, dukkha and anatta), and therefore a Buddhist might say it is ignorant not to believe this.

Now in terms of science this question of belief is taken to extreme. Because belief is subjective then science rejects all beliefs or categorises them as belief and NOT science. This position is absolutely ludicrous as it therefore categorises as “NOT science” most of human experience. Science sets as the benchmark of that which is knowledge as all that can be proved by scientific method. Essentially this scientific method is proof by logical reasoning, but science in general does not examine the axioms upon which this reasoning is based, yet it claims to. There is also much that is dubious about the scientific proofs that come under the heading of qualitative research. I interpret this research as follows:-

Quantitative method is an incontrovertible method of proof (given that it is applied appropriately – and there are many cases in which it isn’t) based on numbers and objective measurement. However academics found this proof limiting when it came to the area that is not known as Science (maths, physics, chemistry etc.). Academics wished to introduce a method that would allow academic respectability for the social sciences, and they called this qualitative research. Such a methodology often based on case studies can often lead to useful conclusions but what it cannot give is incontrovertible proof as with quantitative research. Personally I don’t mind this, qualitative research is a useful indicator but it is not proof.

A friend, self-professed worshipper of reason, uses the word “verifiable”, I like this word as it does open the door to genuine knowledge, but academia does not wish to enter. First up is the need to discuss empirical evidence, and for me acupuncture is an excellent benchmark when it comes to considering whether academia respects empirical evidence. For thousands of years empirical knowledge, thousands of years of case studies, has led to that bank of medical knowledge that is known as acupuncture. Yet science rejects it. There is a simple explanation for this – money. As has been discussed often on my sister site, specifically here, the medical establishment has been subverted by the finances of Rockefeller etc. and allopathic medicine is the only medicine that can be accepted. Therefore acupuncture whether it has a verifiable basis or not will never be recognised by western academia.

Meditative method is the next empirical method that is worth considering. Somewhere His Holiness the Dalai Lama (HHDL) describes the method of meditation as a science. Basically all meditators gravitate to the same point of view. By my recollection he described the method of meditation used in Tibetan Buddhism as always leading to the same understanding, if that is true then there can be no better description of a science – scientific method.

I am not here attempting a proof by quantitative method, and as I assert that this is the only incontrovertible proof accepted by academia what I assert here is not science. However if one accepts that qualitative research through the empirical evidence of case study is actually science then everything I describe has a scientific basis. However I have no wish to contend this because quantitative proof is a misdirection and leads to limited understanding. What is needed is a different epistemology, and that theory for me is based around insight. This epistemology requires an education towards a belief and acceptance of insight, and the use of that skill of insight is the measure of science and the tool that breaks through the veil of ignorance. Of course western academia can never accept this. Whilst they can fool themselves that qualitative research is a substantive proof, they will never accept a subjective methodology such as insight.

But this is typical of the “axioms” of science, they are limited and often erroneous. This blog started with looking at Bruce Lipton’s examination of “genes maketh the man”, this might be true of denim (ha ha) it is certainly not true of people in general. In the last blog I promoted the notion of unity over separation as an axiom for understanding life. This axiom comes from insight, but not mine alone; it is a fundamental axiom of a number of religions and a number of peoples’ insights. At the same time insight brings into question the inadequate model that is separation. Quite obviously separation fits in with quantitative method and observation on an external level. Because of this obvious acceptance such a separation has become an axiom, we are fundamentally separate units as human beings. But the question then is “whilst we can observe bodies of separation, does that mean we as human beings are separate?” Once we start to investigate that question we can see that separation as an axiom is a big assumption. Various words immediately spring to mind to undermine this assumption, gestalt consciousness, collective unconscious, archetypes, etc.

Then we can start to examine Nature. What about ants? Quite clearly they have separate bodies but do they function as separate beings? That is open to question. What about the sea? When you look at the sea you see waves, but can you separate the wave from the sea? That is a ludicrous question. Can you separate individuals from unity for me is an equally ludicrous question? But unfortunately I am in a small minority who think so.

What is preventing science from seeing unity as the axiom? The consequences of the axiom of separation is beneficial to the established order – the 1%, as discussed in the last blog.

Here is an axiom that needs to work hand-in-hand with other axioms – compassion. If your axiom is not beneficial to humanity, and therefore by consequence, ONE planet, then your axiom is flawed. Should compassion be an axiom? Of course it is common sense that any axiom we adhere to has to be of benefit to us all. Measure Insight and Unity by Compassion. When I talk of Insight people argue like “what about Hitler’s insights? Are they insights?” Compassion floors Hitler’s insights.

Look at the consequences of the model of separation. We have competition, we have people “stabbing each other in the back”, and we have the actions of the 1% who think it is acceptable to exploit the 99%. Is this compassionate insight? Have you determined your axioms through insight measured by compassion?

Returning to the theme of ignorance we have some people living in a world where they think they are happy. Their happiness lacks compassion because their happiness is founded on exploitation of others. They lack insight because if they developed insight they could see the way they are. Maybe they look after their families but beyond this they lack humane compassion, and this lack of humanity can exist because they consider that we are all separate and therefore our individual lives matter irrespective of what happens to others. However in unity there has to be compassion, seeing ourselves as one means that compassion is integrated into our being; there is no question because our actions cause ourselves suffering or not. The ignorance of separation means that we cause ourselves suffering, and we delude ourselves that the suffering of others that we cause does not matter. But it is a delusion that it does not matter.

So in the end there is only compassionate insight.