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September 15, 2013

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Ungern Sternberg:

Just recently I figured out the game of materialism: to equate it with science. it is the same with skepticism. It is really materialism. I can understand someone who is fed up with Christianity. It sounds better to say, "I am an atheist" than, "I am anti-religious" which materialism espouses. Ironically, materialism hasn't been 'scientifically proven'.

You may want to check out the works of Wolfgang Smith such as "Cosmos and Transcendence: Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Beliefs" and "Science and Myth: What We are Never Told."

I think another problem beyond the association of materialism with science is the idea of some inherent opposition between science and religion in the popular mind, as if one has to choose between either believing in science or a particular religion, thereby making science and materialism their religion.

It also seems there is a lot of effort among various religious scholars and believers to rectify the postulates of their particular religion with the views of modern science, which of course has the underlying implication that to them science is supreme and their religion secondary. Didn't the Dalai Lama even say something along the lines of "If science disproves something in Buddhism that something must be discarded?" I wonder then what he makes of the increasing materialism of modern science and the notion that consciousness is merely the product of the physical organism?

As for me, I tend to agree with what Evola had to say in that snippet I posted here a few posts back and therefore science is mostly irrelevant to my interests and goals. To employ the terminology you used in your recent blog post, science is concerned with measuring and discovering laws of the animated whereas gnosis is knowledge of the animative. Science can never measure or "know" That which cannot be found in the objective sensory realm, i.e. how can the Knower be found in the known? I suppose it is equivalent to Bodhidharma saying it is futile to look for Buddha outside of Mind. It is amusing that many modern atheists/materialists base their atheism on the fact that the Knower (or the transcendent God of Christianity) cannot be found in the known and objectively measured for all to see.

I like how you connect dualism with materialism. I think that's the crux of the matter. Because the West was so radically dualistic, it now tries to reduce everything to one pole of the dualism - to matter - but that's still dualistic!

But the modern scientific view is paradoxical in many ways. the perfect proof of that is the Berkeley quote in another of your posts. They actually believe the brain produces the mind, and thus "paints" the world (with colors & shapes & etc) - but the brain itself is a certain shape and color ... so the brain creates the mind that creates the brain. It's absolutely contradictory.

We should perhaps see it as Schelling saw it: "Nature is visible Spirit; Spirit is invisible Nature."

I was depressed and Soto zazen cured me. Later I found on your blog the idea that it was a placebo effect. Now I consider that idea to be the truth.

I find there are simpler and more effective methods to directly interact with the placebo effect, for instance chanting (like in Nichiren).

The power of the mind is a deep mystery. I just watched this documentary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvbQnMvhQFw

about placebo surgery(!) ... that has the same effects as actual surgery

But Buddhism is ultimately not about activating placebo to fix our samsaric lives ... it must be about seeing the Truth.

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