Does Meditation work?

I grew up in a home that talked of the subconscious mind, meditation and dabbled in self-hypnosis. Although I found myself better equipped than the average person to be able to handle emotions and negativity, I felt that there was a missing piece. I turned to religion, born a Catholic and having a strong connection to Jesus Christ and the saints I remained in that religious sphere. Still, I felt there was a missing piece, I turned to ancient Indian teachings and learned yoga and meditation. I loved the camaraderie but this too turned into an ‘us versus them’.

I drifted to learning about different religions, assimilating all that was good and discarding all that felt hostile. I have settled on science, the process of deliberating all the facts, verifying the statements and carrying out controlled tests, appeals greatly to me. A lover of truth I hate diabolical schemes designed to lure and brainwash people.

I have learned much about people and about how the mind works, especially the tricks it plays. What I discovered through self-introspection, scientists have studied and concluded; that humans are hard-wired to non-consciously shift their view of reality to avoid working harder.

A quote from (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0217/210217-perception-effort)

“Our brain tricks us into believing the low-hanging fruit really is the ripest,” says Dr Nobuhiro Hagura, who led the UCL team before moving to NICT in Japan. “We found that not only does the cost to act influence people’s behavior, but it even changes what we think we see.”

Which inadvertently begs the question, can you trust your judgments to be true or is it just the easiest option? This explains something that has perplexed me for years, why do people support an organization, group etc. that is blatantly in the wrong? It takes courage to stand up against your own, easier to alter your perception and justify their actions.

The study of conspiracy theories and those who believe it is more understandable in this perspective. People are governed by how they feel and less with the truth of the matter. Your devotion to a person will make you less critical of them, your allegiance to an organization will have you defending murder if need be.

While all this served as an Aha moment and the filling of the human behavior as predictable, I was intrigued by another question. Is there a way to overcome this unconscious tendency to change reality to suit one’s concept of the path of least resistance? The obvious answer was to raise awareness. Mediation came to mind, surely mediation would be the one exercise that would help combat this truth-bending hardwiring of the mind?

I was shocked to discover that it does nothing of the sort if anything it gives one a grander illusion of one’s correctness. Apparently believing oneself to be enlightened or under the guidance of an enlightened leader reduces the brain’s need to consciously evaluate anything, less work.

The rate of trusting one’s gut feeling, intuition rises sharply throwing logic, reasoning and scientific approaches into the bin. The tendency to be magnetized (mirror neurons) increases and you tend to sync with the leader, the group etc. Individuality is lost, the theory of oneness triumphs, although quite altruistic in its description it is anything but loving. There is deep-seated resentment against those who don’t ‘get it’ or are ‘less evolved’. Anger, loathing, judgments, and the most docile reaction ‘indifference’ often misinterpreted as acceptance is prevalent.

So what does work? Apparently hard work, the willingness to be rejected, mocked, isolated and the hunger to know the truth. Not a very appealing prospect, but for those who seek the Truth, nothing else will do. What makes it easier? Having love and compassion, understanding why people do what they do and forgiving them. Knowing that only you need to know the Truth, the approval of others is not to be desired, in fact, if you find someone agreeing with you, question your truths and test your beliefs. ​​​​​​​

Referance : https://elifesciences.org/articles/18422

7 Comments

  1. I don’t think Evolution can be taken out of the three you mentioned. They are in fact “ideology, beliefs [,and] place in a timeline.”

    “Actually, we are all a product of chaos, the big bang, etc, the universe is forever expanding…. look up The chaos Theory….” —From Wikipedia, “Chaos theory concerns deterministic systems whose behavior can in principle be predicted.” For my understanding, what is your take on an individual’s free-will versus determinism debate?

    “Perhaps you are taking a philosophical route by saying that enlightenment means to attain peace?” —Hit a chord here. Yes, however peace (transcendence) does not at all mean acceptance to me. It means actively engaging against chaos. That’s transcendence, it means further strife, confusion, and struggle. Chaos are the negative circumstances to be overcome. Evolution is the counter-weight to chaos; it’s not merely peace. Evolution transcended pure randomness through the cell which is a self-functioning unit, evolution transcended death through reproduction, humans transcended biology through society.

    “You don’t actively change anything or enforce a new stability that overrides the chaos.” —Wouldn’t society be a counter-example to this? Hasn’t society enforced a new stability over chaos? Chaos is still a constant, I did not argue against that, but that chaos hasn’t been transcended to some degree with modern society? I don’t understand this.

    “They could not see what they did not understand.” —I omit you’re correct here. The caveman would not recognize that Truth of the iPhone. This does not mean that they *cannot* see what they don’t understand though. They can, however, sight becomes more difficult without comprehension —to the point where it *may* not be seen.

    “There are the Namibian Himbas who cannot see the color blue as they do not have a word for it in their language, they see it as a shade of blue.” —They *comprehend* it as a shade of [whatever color they have a word for]. Students who are bad at drawing try to draw symbolically —they draw people poorly because they attempt to imitate the forms of people they have in their minds (comprehension) over what they actually see, the lines and contours of a real human being. In order to draw properly, students have to *remove* their symbolic comprehension and see properly first.

    “There is even a theory being proposed that educating people on the language of happiness, helping them identify and recognize, more happy/positive emotions might help cure depression.” —*Might* is inconclusive. It might also cause more depression. If you recognize all the different happy/positive emotions you don’t have, it may become grounds to become even more depressed. We’re trying to trick people into being happy with words instead of altering the environment to create a more cohesive experience of human life —this seems backwards to me.

    “Again define dark age and delusions. Your disagreement to a Truth is grounds to call it delusion?”
    Dark ages — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_(historiography)
    Delusions — past truths that have become false because of supporting evidence to the contrary in the present. That supporting evidence comes in the form of “inexplicable” phenomena. Copernicus’s insight that the Earth revolves around the sun would have very much been “inexplicable” or “incomprehensible” to the religious, which formed the majority of the world, since they had been told that God created the world and that was the center of the Universe. I *think* rationality or truth-seeking is creating more problems than its solving now; perhaps that good enough evidence that there should be a change.

    “What if you are the one deceived?” Always possible.

    “According to them we are trapped in our delusions and according to us it’s them..” Yes —this is the difficulty, it’s *almost* impossible to tell who is right or wrong, but you’ll notice that I’m using that as a judgment on good and evil instead of truth. “Right”, “Wrong” as moral judgments. This is my main point, that this judgment is what should take priority over truth. Do you see any loopholes?

    “Will that mean we all roam around clueless and lost? probably. Is that grounds to abandon the quest for Truth? Never.” —This to me is silly. The quest for truth is allowed by a society that frees the individual to have time for intellectual pursuits. What if that society collapses? truth would want to look out for its long-term well-being, but in your view here truth would never stop seeking truth long enough to look at what’s happening around the world.

    “what are your views on helping the world then?”

    We need to move towards autonomy and agency —which involves three faculties, reason, faith, and consequence. Each of the three check the other two. Reason is not good for “seeing after the fact”, it likes to predict, but for much of life we cannot predict, we can only reflect. Faith pushes reason to go past pure reason, but faith to you is a form of “what I know is true” madness. It takes that form without a counter-weight, which is where consequence arrives to force the individual to consider the results of any situation and attempt to fit it into a theoretical framework which is the counter-weight of reason.

    This process is actually already known as “Praxis”: theory (reason) –> Action (faith) –> Reflection (consequence). A person that can do this can be autonomous, i.e. live their life, be an individual. Agency is having autonomous decisions affect the environment, this one is trickier, maybe another time.

    “Seeking the Truth has nothing to do with your actions, that’s a personal choice.” —This sentence I do not understand. Isn’t seeking the truth an action that has to take place in the world? Otherwise you’re saying that the exploration of truth is an internal process? but if you find a truth, you’d agree that it’s worth sharing with the world, at which point you’ll have to act (share) the truth. In which case, seeking the truth has everything to do with actions? and actions are in fact matters of personal choice? the only complete freedom I have is my actions in situations, not even my thoughts are as free because oftentimes I cannot control them.

    “Why does Truth come at the expense of meaningful ends??”

    I’ll use lowercase truth (comprehension, which I think is equivalent with your Truth) and uppercase Truth for raw perception. Why does truth come at the expense of meaningful ends? truth, if it’s comprehension, is equivalent to the word insight, but insight does not guarentee results. That’s quite easy to see. I may know all the different reasons, truths, etc. of my childhood and why I grew up to be this way, but that does not necessarily help me affect the results I may want to have —to escape faulty childhood patterns. Comprehending can form a hyper-intention to what is comprehended, what Viktor Frankl notes is a neurosis that specifically what fears happening is most likely to happen due to their insistence that it does not happen. In order to “cure” the neurosis, an opposite will to have exactly what one fears happen happen —and by doing this, overcome the hyper-intention that was the cause in the first place! This is very paradoxical and not at all rational, but humans are far from rational, far from being able to make meaningful ends (results, consequences) from truth (comprehension, insight).

    A child who knows the truth of a needle before going to the doctor will make the experience worse than had they not known and simply took the pain when it came. I’m not advocating for an “ignorance is bliss” for the world, I’m only pointing out situations in which truth and ends don’t line up. The truth of the needle doesn’t help the ends of making the experience of visiting the doctor as painless as possible.

    On a global level, to move towards a better future will require a “greatest good for all” mentality —which does not align with truth seeking. No example comes to mind, but in abstract terms, truth does not always equal good. There are other virtues that may have to take precedence over truth in pursuit of good.

    1. #For my understanding, what is your take on an individual’s free-will versus determinism debate?#

      It would be interesting to hear your thoughts after you hear what Moran Cerf has to say about ‘free will’ – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE0TedFPgH8
      Yes Determinism does hold true, as we quite often are a product of our environments, conditioning, beliefs etc. However, considering that I dare to challenge all these and try to forge my own view, it should be obvious what I think. Once again awareness is key, even if you take a decision that is predetermined by your conditioning, if you are aware that it is a direct result of it and then choose to act accordingly, is it then not Free will?

      #Yes, however peace (transcendence) does not at all mean acceptance to me. It means actively engaging against chaos. That’s transcendence, it means further strife, confusion, and struggle. Chaos are the negative circumstances to be overcome. Evolution is the counter-weight to chaos; it’s not merely peace. Evolution transcended pure randomness through the cell which is a self-functioning unit, evolution transcended death through reproduction, humans transcended biology through society. #

      Again it’s the vernacular that is actually in debate, you are defining the inevitable process ‘actively engaging against chaos’ as peace. Entropy, chaos, struggle against chaos, – these are life processes. There isn’t a choice, the only alternative is to cease toe exist, to be dead and then it doesn’t matter. Thinking, debating, experiencing – it’s all life processes that cannot carry over once we are dead or have a non-functioning brain.

      #evolution transcended death through reproduction, humans transcended biology through society#

      Evolution has not transcended death through reproduction. Life has found a way to perpetuate. Evolution is a term given to what a few people have agreed to be a scale, a measurement of advancement. When bacteria reproduce it isn’t evolution that is transcending death, the next generation is still bacteria, not better no worse. When man dies and a child is born, the child does not come forth with the knowledge of the previous generation, instead he or she is born anew, a blank slate.
      Humans have not transcended biology through society, it is science/technology that will help mankind cross that threshold. Society; take the terrorist states for example they are societies that are focused on hater and destruction, does not transcend biology, science, philosophy, debates, reasoning etc. these help transcend society. In fact, story telling, is what has helped mankind to evolve, to develop compassion, empathy, etc.

      #”You don’t actively change anything or enforce a new stability that overrides the chaos.” —Wouldn’t society be a counter-example to this? Hasn’t society enforced a new stability over chaos? #

      Once again define society, you assume that the modern world is a product of evolution. Law, order, stability is a fragile balance that is in place because a few people had the courage to question age old beliefs, think Martin Luther who dreamed of white children and black children being treated equally. Mahatma Ghandi fought for independence through non violence. It wasn’t society that liberated mankind from racist, colonial, barbaric standards but a few brave men and women who challenged the status quo. And it involved sacrifice, bloodshed, chaos to upend a previous chaotic regime. And it continues, as long as we have bold people willing to question what always was and will be and dare to dream of what can be and should be. Chaos is vital for evolution.

      #This does not mean that they *cannot* see what they don’t understand though. They can, however, sight becomes more difficult without comprehension —to the point where it *may* not be seen.#

      The natives continued to carry on and do their work totally ignoring the 80 feet long ships. Not even a ‘look at that!” or an odd conversation, I have no idea what constitutes for cannot see. Like when I ask my son to find something, trust me he genuinely cannot see .. the mind plays tricks… Ever searched for something but not found it and then someone else comes in and picks it up and shows it to you?

      #They *comprehend* it as a shade of [whatever color they have a word for]. #

      A colour is a colour inability to see it is just that. Case in point: there is a bomb and you need to cut the blue wire all you see is two green wires, trust me one of them is blue, comprehend that.

      #Students who are bad at drawing try to draw symbolically….In order to draw properly, students have to *remove* their symbolic comprehension and see properly first.#

      Erm …. That’s exactly what I’m saying, they need to learn , remove* their symbolic comprehension and see properly first’. They cannot draw until they unlearn what they are doing and learn to notice shape, proportion, lighting… that’s exactly what I’m saying.

      #Might* is inconclusive. It might also cause more depression. If you recognize all the different happy/positive emotions you don’t have, it may become grounds to become even more depressed. We’re trying to trick people into being happy with words instead of altering the environment to create a more cohesive experience of human life —this seems backwards to me.#

      Ok perhaps this article will help explain my viewpoint https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/words-can-change-your-brain/201207/the-most-dangerous-word-in-the-world

      # We’re trying to trick people into being happy #

      As opposed to letting the media, damaging news etc. trick you into feeling depressed? If A (media, beuaty magazines, news channels) make a person depressed then removing A and substituting it with B (positive news, inspirational stories etc) is perfectly logical, how is it backward? This is called changing your environment, exposing a person to the world of discovery, broadening their mindscape….

      #Dark ages — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Ages_(historiography)#

      You should have read further … As the accomplishments of the era came to be better understood in the 18th and 20th centuries, scholars began restricting the “Dark Ages” appellation to the Early Middle Ages.. quote from Wikipedia… there is no such thing as Dark ages, every age has it transition, it’s lessons, it’s a continuous evolution, without the past we would have no present and definitely no future….

      #Delusions — past truths that have become false because of supporting evidence to the contrary in the present. #

      Give me one example. The only change that has happened is that mankind has grown to understand more, our vocabulary has increased, our understanding of the sciences has increased. Take the same modern man and put him in the prescience and technology timeline and he will behave no better.
      We laughed at the ancients who said to mediate, today science affirms that mediation is crucial to health and wellbeing. We scoffed at old wives tales of turmeric, ginger, and honey as remedies, today science affirms it’s curative properties…

      #incomprehensible” to the religious, which formed the majority of the world, since they had been told that God created the world and that was the center of the Universe. ” I *think* rationality or truth-seeking is creating more problems than its solving now; perhaps that good enough evidence that there should be a change.#

      I find your statement contradictory, science or ‘ rationality or truth-seeking’ is what led to the discovery that the earth is not the center of the universe. And as far as the religious are concerned,
      Job 26:7
      He stretches out the north over the empty place, (nothing), and hangs the earth upon nothing.
      Isaiah 40:22:
      It is He that sits upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in

      Is God to blame if the religious were not evolved (had the vocabulary, mindset to work harder than to accept the easy) enough to understand astrophysics?

      #it’s *almost* impossible to tell who is right or wrong, but you’ll notice that I’m using that as a judgment on good and evil instead of truth. “Right”, “Wrong” as moral judgments. This is my main point, that this judgment is what should take priority over truth. Do you see any loopholes?#

      What is right and what is wrong? That is a loophole. What is legal varies from country to country, what is permitted from society to society and what is right from person to person. Example euthanasia, abortion, cloning, to name a few.

      #The quest for truth is allowed by a society that frees the individual to have time for intellectual pursuits. What if that society collapses? truth would want to look out for its long-term well-being, but in your view here truth would never stop seeking truth long enough to look at what’s happening around the world.#

      Society frees the individual? Which society is that? Last I checked every society expects you to make a living and contribute to the community (taxes, economy, obey laws). The quest for truth is a personal choice at one’s own expense. The fact that we have come so far, slavery abolished, human rights, freedom of speech etc. is because Truth seeking people dared question the ‘society laws’ and fought (chaos) for it.

      #Reason is not good for “seeing after the fact”, it likes to predict, but for much of life we cannot predict, we can only reflect. Faith pushes reason to go past pure reason, but faith to you is a form of “what I know is true” madness. It takes that form without a counter-weight, which is where consequence arrives to force the individual to consider the results of any situation and attempt to fit it into a theoretical framework which is the counter-weight of reason.
      This process is actually already known as “Praxis”: theory (reason) –> Action (faith) –> Reflection (consequence). A person that can do this can be autonomous, i.e. live their life, be an individual. Agency is having autonomous decisions affect the environment, this one is trickier, maybe another time.#

      My understanding of the Praxis theory was very different to what you described so I googled it to prove a point.
      Praxis may be described as a form of critical thinking and comprises the combination of reflection and action. Praxis can be viewed as a progression of cognitive and physical actions:
      • Taking the action
      • Considering the impacts of the action
      • Analysing the results of the action by reflecting upon it
      • Altering and revising conceptions and planning following reflection
      • Implementing these plans in further actions
      Nothing wrong with that… in fact that is a very practical guide to living a good life. What you are referring to is a modified version, a religious interpretation that brings faith into context. If it works for you so be it. No judgments, my path does not require pilgrims, I am happy to trudge on alone. Most truth seekers rarely look for acceptance or support.

      #Isn’t seeking the truth an action that has to take place in the world? Otherwise you’re saying that the exploration of truth is an internal process? but if you find a truth, you’d agree that it’s worth sharing with the world, at which point you’ll have to act (share) the truth. In which case, seeking the truth has everything to do with actions? and actions are in fact matters of personal choice? the only complete freedom I have is my actions in situations, not even my thoughts are as free because oftentimes I cannot control them.#

      Yes seeking the truth is an internal process, that’s the whole point. Self-discovery? No, I will not share my Truth, it is personal, and it is my path to follow. If I chalk it out for someone it’s them following me, where is the truth in that???? Truth needs to be discovered, you need to go within, throw out all the beliefs and question everything. What remains is truth and if you are empty go out and find it….

      #The truth of the needle doesn’t help the ends of making the experience of visiting the doctor as painless as possible.#

      I think you are misunderstanding the concept of truth as an independent thought and the emotions, baggage, response etc. the mind attaches to it…. In fact, this is exactly what I have tried to highlight that the mind ‘tricks’ us into irrational nightmares, scenarios, understandings…. That is what knowing the truth is supposed to help eliminate. If someone is a victim to their mind how can they discover the truth?? They have too much baggage….

      #On a global level, to move towards a better future will require a “greatest good for all” mentality —which does not align with truth seeking. #

      Ok you lost me here…. Personal opinions and preferences over truth????? Why is everything a this or a that??? If you seek truth you cannot do good for the world, if you seek truth you will not move towards a better future?? Sorry this logic does not compute….

      1. The question is about priorities, that’s all —one can’t expect to have everything all the time. To want everything is to engage in a having your cake and eating it too mentality. Truth and Good combined is great, not always possible.

        Society absolutely frees time —the alternative is to go hunt for your food and survive against the elements of nature. Pre-civilization times were violent and brutal —the drop of a nuclear bomb or a third world war could absolutely send us back to non-technological times. There is more progress to be made with society in freeing even more time, allowing even more autonomy and free will. Less governance.

        While it’s admirable to search for truth alone, it’s much more admirable to take the source of truth and bring it back for civilization’s sake. As Simone de Beauvoir would say, “It does happen that in spite of everything, some women entirely committed to a cause truly have an impact; these women are not merely seeking to keep themselves busy, they have ends in view; autonomous producers, they escape from the parasitic category we are considering here: but this conversion is rare. In their private or public activities, most women do not aim for a goal that can be reached but for a way to keep busy: and no occupation is meaningful if it is only a pastime. Many of them suffer from this; with a life already behind them, they feel the same distress as adolescent boys whose lives have not yet opened up; nothing is calling them, around them both is a desert; faced with any action, they murmur: What’s the use? But the adolescent boy is drawn, willingly or not, into a man’s existence that reveals responsibilities, goals, and values; he is thrown into the world, he takes a stand, he becomes committed. If it is suggested to the older woman that she begin to move toward the future, she responds sadly: it’s too late. It is not that her time is limited from here on: a woman is made to retire very early; but she lacks the drive, confidence, hope, and anger that would allow her to discover new goals in her own life. She takes refuge in the routine that has always been her lot; she makes repetition her system, she throws herself into household obsessions; she becomes more deeply religious; she becomes rigidly stoic, like Mme de Charrière. She becomes brittle, indifferent, egotistical.”

        I wonder if you would challenge yourself to meaningful ends rather than always adhering to a subjective truth seeking that is complete so long as it is being sought for by your own standards because “it is easy to believe one is sovereign when alone, to believe oneself strong when carefully refusing to bear any burden. Montherlant has chosen ease; he claims to worship difficult values: but he seeks to attain them easily,” —Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex.

        Best of luck and thank you for the discussion!

  2. Nice! Indeed, standing as an individual is difficult. However, we should question the search for Truth as well —what is Truth? Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance identifies a flaw with rationality, science, Truth seeking:

    “He studied scientific truths, then became upset even more by the apparent cause of their temporal condition. It looked as though the time spans of scientific truths are an inverse function of the intensity of scientific effort. Thus the scientific truths of the twentieth century seem to have a much shorter life-span than those of the last century because scientific activity is now much greater. If, in the next century, scientific activity increases tenfold, then the life expectancy of any scientific truth can be expected to drop to perhaps one-tenth as long as now. What shortens the life-span of the existing truth is the volume of hypotheses offered to replace it; the more the hypotheses, the shorter the time span of the truth. And what seems to be causing the number of hypotheses to grow in recent decades seems to be nothing other than scientific method itself. The more you look, the more you see. Instead of selecting one truth from a multitude you are increasing the multitude. What this means logically is that as you try to move toward unchanging truth through the application of scientific method, you actually do not move toward it at all. You move away from it! It is your application of scientific method that is causing it to change!

    What Phædrus observed on a personal level was a phenomenon, profoundly characteristic of the history of science, which has been swept under the carpet for years. The predicted results of scientific enquiry and the actual results of scientific enquiry are diametrically opposed here, and no one seems to pay too much attention to the fact. The purpose of scientific method is to select a single truth from among many hypothetical truths. That, more than anything else, is what science is all about. But historically science has done exactly the opposite. Through multiplication upon multiplication of facts, information, theories and hypotheses, it is science itself that is leading mankind from single absolute truths to multiple, indeterminate, relative ones. The major producer of the social chaos, the indeterminacy of thought and values that rational knowledge is supposed to eliminate, is none other than science itself. And what Phædrus saw in the isolation of his own laboratory work years ago is now seen everywhere in the technological world today. Scientifically produced antiscience…chaos”

    1. Hi willgu!
      Thank you for stopping by but more importantly thank you for your insights. I love a discourse.
      yes, I am quite familiar with Robert Pirsig, I was often caught reading this very book during my chemistry classes in College. Needless to say, my teachers were not impressed. it was under it’s influence that I had joined a yoga and meditation class. I then embarked on an eight-year journey to discover the truth of the Vedas, turned vegetarian and the whole nine yards, so to speak.
      The best take away being river rafting in the Himalayas and meditating in an ancient temple that overlooked the Himalayan ranges. Surreal.
      The fundamental flaw of Robert Pirsig’s logic is that he correlates scientific method with Scientific truth, there is no such thing. The method leads you to the Truth which is relative to your level of understanding, your knowledge base. The more you discover the more parameters come into play the more dimensions get added, Truth is modular and subject to times, conditions and language.
      Yes, language, you cannot comprehend that which you have no words to describe. Case in point, if time travel were possible can you comprehend describing an iphone to the caveman? To the caveman, the lightning God holds more truth than you and your iPhone or android that would not work without cell towers or battery (electricity). Would that nullify the fact that iphones exist or that it is capable of all that you claim it to be?
      Truth needs context and language to be understood. As we evolve the more Truths we uncover, the lighting God turns into electric discharges, it doesn’t cease to exist just gets a more accurate/scientific explanation.
      What really bakes your noodle is the question, if a Truth doesn’t affect me does it cease to be a Truth?

      PS: Scientifically produced antiscience…chaos” Its the 2nd law of thermodynamics, everything eventually leads to chaos… universal law of decay; the ultimate cause of why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. it’s the basis of our existence and the moment there is no entropy, the universe will be dead.

      1. Pirsig actually goes to add an addendum to the law of entropy. His example is take, for example, if you put a human on a rock and waited, what would happen? He would, of course, eventually disintegrate into simpler biological elements like carbon and nitrogen, etc. but this very idea begs the question, that if this “the basis of our existence”, why do humans, why does evolution exist? Evolution continually *defies* laws, and to the degree an animal defies laws, take the example the ability for birds to defy gravity, is the degree that they are that animal. A bird is defined by their ability to defy gravity, a law of nature. No entropy means nothing to defy —so yes, the universe would be dead, but I’m not sure in the exact same way that you envisioned. Chaos is not a guarantee, evolution strives to transcend chaos.

        You bring up good points in language —I think it’s possible to comprehend truth with words (context, time-sensitive), but Truth is always raw perception. The caveman would recognize that Truth that there is this object that he hasn’t see before, but that he knows exists. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t understand it, that’s just a truth (lowercase). As you say, “as we evolve the more Truths we uncover…” and these Truths become more accurate, but there’s no justification that says Truths will continually unveil themselves. There’s always the possibility of slipping into a dark age because of mutually affirmed delusions like the one Pirsig speaks of —truth, rationality, dualistic modes of thinking, which fail to explain large portions of reality.

        If a truth doesn’t affect me, does it cease to be a truth? No, but truth is not Truth —comprehension does not make for Truth, Truth exists past comprehension. In this sense, yes —all Truth can be sensed and therefore must affect me to be a Truth because it affects everyone: gravity for example. I don’t need to know the conceptual truth of gravity to be affected by the Truth of gravity. The concept does not affect me, gravity does.

        Am I replying to your point correctly? Also curious, what are your views on helping the world then? I’m worried about a world that ruthlessly pursues truth without acknowledging there are meaningful ends to work towards. Sometimes these are mutually affirming, but not all the time, and when they are not, if we choose truth over meaningful ends, we may find ourselves regressing further from Truth.

      2. You make many points and yes I could and probably will answer all of them but we need to get our vernacular straight. Since we both are on different paths, our words might be the same but the meanings we attach to it are very different. Evolution, what does that mean to you? Are we looking at ideology, beliefs or just place in a timeline? There are individuals who have degrees in science and carry iphones and still argue that the earth is flat. Is evolution an individual concept for you or is it a global phenomenon or are you talking from a biological point of view? neanderthals to humans? Dinosaurs to birds?
        Case in point your statement: Evolution continually *defies* laws…A bird is defined by their ability to defy gravity, a law of nature: When did gravity become a law that stated you must be stuck to the ground? There is no gravity in space, so space defies a law? I hope you can see that your definition of a law is quite restrictive, Gravity is a natural phenomenon and it can be manipulated, overcome, what does evolution have to do with that? In fact gravity changes depending on your altitude and latitude, kinda bunks the absolute theory.
        So if birds can fly due to evolution are we less evolved because we cannot? Or is a bird that flies more evolved than a chicken that does not? I hope you can see that the need to have a clearly defined idea of evolution, law etc. is a prerequisite if we are to decipher Truth.
        Chaos is not a guarantee, evolution strives to transcend chaos.
        Actually, we are all a product of chaos, the big bang, etc, the universe is forever expanding…. look up The chaos Theory….
        Perhaps you are taking a philosophical route by saying that enlightenment means to attain peace? And you attribute peace to be the opposite of chaos? Which brings me back to my point of what does Chaos mean to you? The enlightenment route talks of chaos as strife, confusion, struggle etc. Note that enlightenment merely means the acceptance (transcendence) of the discord which brings about the peace. You don’t actively change anything or enforce a new stability that overrides the chaos.
        The caveman would recognize that Truth that there is this object that he hasn’t see before, but that he knows exists
        There is a famous recording of Cook’s expedition to Australia, where indigenous Australians from the journal of John Banks, the botanist who accompanied Cook stated that they ignored the Endeavour as it passed within a quarter of a mile of the coast.
        They could not see what they did not understand.
        There are the Namibian Himbas who cannot see the color blue as they do not have a word for it in their language, they see it as a shade of blue.
        There is even a theory being proposed that educating people on the language of happiness, helping them identify and recognize, more happy/positive emotions might help cure depression.
        There’s always the possibility of slipping into a dark age because of mutually affirmed delusions
        Again define dark age and delusions. Your disagreement to a Truth is grounds to call it delusion? What if you are the one deceived? There are people who believe the earth is flat and the moon landings never happened, Anti vaxxers who believe that vaccination is a myth, disease is a belief in the mind and germs are delusions…. According to them we are trapped in our delusions and according to us it’s them.. DO you see where i’m going with this?
        This is where the scientific method comes in, sort the wheat from the chaff, A truth will hold true to all tests across time and space. If at any point it does not, chuck it or find one that does, it’s the only way to avoid being swept with the “What I know is true” madness that has gripped the world. Does that drive some people up the wall? Maybe. Will that mean we all roam around clueless and lost? probably. Is that grounds to abandon the quest for Truth? Never.
        what are your views on helping the world then? I’m worried about a world that ruthlessly pursues truth without acknowledging there are meaningful ends to work towards.
        This is where you lost me……… what does your quest for truth have anything to do with or against helping the world??????? There are only two kinds of people good and bad, good people do good and bad people do bad. Seeking the Truth has nothing to do with your actions, that’s a personal choice.
        if we choose truth over meaningful ends
        ????? Why does Truth come at the expense of meaningful ends?? I’m lost here… no idea what your point is… you’ll have to explain it for me to answer …
        Hope I have explained my reasoning. I’m happy that you are questioning…. that’s what I tell my kids… test everything…. don’t take people’s word for it… if its true it will hold under questioning. Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free……

Let me know what you think, after all we think therefore we are.. alive?

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