Saturday, August 16, 2008

John Lilly's Simulations of God - Science of Belief excerpt 3 God as Science

Earlier excerpt and another one, and the book download link.

God as Science
Western science became divided into two major movements: experimental science, which depended upon careful observation and experiment, and mathematics, which depended upon an intuitive grasp of abstract principles and the reduction of these to equations and functions expressible by a new symbology. Several mistakes were made by commentators on this scene. One of them was that science was neglecting sources of information other than that from the natural external world and experiments upon that world. In an almost underground way the subjective aspects of experience were paid court by the mathematicians and their intuitive sources of inner knowledge, examined and expressed in a disciplined, careful "inner experimental" way.

For those who think that science originates in the external reality, I ask the question: "Where does mathematics come from?" This is as deep a mystery as the mystical experiences of the Eastern philosophers and mystics. The "Yoga of the West" is divided into the "Mathematical Yoga" and the "Experimental Science Yoga." Each of these disciplines requires just as much discipline, mastery of self, and ability of inner and outer actions as anything imported from India, China or Japan. In my teaching experience, teaching science of the West and teaching technique from the East, I find that those who need the least teaching, i.e., who already have the self-discipline necessary to master any of these techniques, are those in the West who are trained in mathematics and/or science.

...As a student of science, I was shocked to realize that scientists depend upon mechanics, and mechanics depend upon previous mechanics who taught them their trade. I was shocked also to find that metallurgy was not yet a science; it was an empirical technological, heuristic, pragmatic, empirical art. When I was working in scientific instrumentation, I discovered that most of the knowledge I needed was not in scientific journals or the scientific textbooks at all; it was in engineering handbooks, it was in various "how to do" manuals from technology, it was in books like John Strong's Procedures in Experimental Physics. These sources depend not upon scientific experiments so much as "try it - if it works, use it." I found that to be a scientist I could be a technologist, a mechanic, a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, a wire man, a circuit designer, an optician, a bacteriologist, a farmer and so forth. True science is imbedded in practically every human activity that one can conceive of. It is not something alone, by itself, apart from the rest of the reality of human existence.

I make these points in order to show that it is totally inappropriate to make science into God. Science is the result of human activity; it is not something God-given and forced upon the human race by some superior being. And yet there are those in legislatures, in public life, in the media, in the performing arts, who have not been educated in science and thus put it on some sort of pedestal and worship it as if it were a god. This can be extremely dangerous; it means that one is setting up a w hole sphere of human knowledge, of human activity, as if seperate from oneself and hence subject to attack or to worship, or whatever else one wants to do with this simulation.
Once one simulates Science as if God, or as if the Devil, he has lost contact with it. It now is in the position of a paranoid system of delusion which he can then treat unrealistically and as if not part of his own planetside trip. As is discussed in other chapters of this book, science has much to offer - in the region of cosmology, for example, in the region of submicroscopic reality, in reality, in the region of explaning the operations of our own brain. I agree with those who maintain that science is only the best application to our planetside trip of the best thinking of which man is capable (and I would include in the planetside trip the inner realities as well as the other realities). Science is not something to be worshipped; science is something to be acquired as one's own thinking machinery can assimilate it, as one's own biocomputer can be trained by it. Science literally is a Yoga, a union with our own humanity, a union with the universe as it exists, not as we may wish it to be.

Science of itself is ruthlessly indifferent. It is an expression of the state of High Indifference. Science does not take sides; its products can be used to kill, to create, or to grow. Science as we know it is now capable of feeding adequately every human being on the face of the Earth. Science as we know it is now capable of turning the seas into vast farms, of turning the deserts into green paradises. The proper use of science could make a veritable Eden of our planet, without pollution and with a balanced view of the totality of all species of plants and animals. Science can then function as a benign god rather as the devil that we make of it when we worship God as War, God as Righteous Wrath, God as Power, and so forth. Science is our handservant, science is our concubine, science is our wife, science is our husband, science is our children, science is our thinking, science is our feeling, science is our doing.

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