Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

Chris Lees (
Tue, 06 Apr 1999 16:42:44 +0100

Date: Tue, 06 Apr 1999 16:42:44 +0100
From: Chris Lees <>
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism.

Amongst other points, Jake said:

> Besides these same issues extend to matters of defining the "self", for very
> similar and related reasons. We have a number of people into memetics, or
> really trying to discover memetics, who are trying to say that the self is
> "just an illusion". Even greater than any concerns about a culture of
> individual freedom, treating "self" as "just an illusion", is a mystical
> assault on our very language, and indeed on the activity of language in
> general. Far from reaping any insight, this only guarantees that we will
> soon be babbling incoherently should we endorse this postion.
> Imagining the self to be an illusion can at best be treated as a mystical
> metaphysical performance - certainly not a mode that can be maintained for
> any adaptive purpose - and indeed I have known none to do so. I can
> appreciate people wishing to redifine "self" for greater understanding and
> accuracy, but denying it as an illusion is as big a farce to me as watching
> people who claim to be "speaking in tongues".

I think that what you say here Jake is just an example preposterous
narrow-minded scientism. You don't understand something, so rather than
admit ignorance, you dismiss it as "farce".
To say that self is ultimately an illusion is a perfectly valid
It is a conclusion arrived at by many people who have explored their
own experience, meticulously and pragmatically, over a couple of
millenia. For you to pour such scorn upon all those people is unworthy
of your obvious intelligence.
How you manage to leap from that to "a mystical assault on our very
I don't understand at all. Bizarre logic.

IMO, S. Blackmore explains the matter in a coherent and convincing way.


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