Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism

t (MemeLab@aol.com)
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 11:48:12 EDT

From: <MemeLab@aol.com>
Date: Wed, 7 Apr 1999 11:48:12 EDT
Subject: Re: A more "sciency"-sounding mysticism
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk

In a message dated 4/7/99 9:15:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
robin@faichney.demon.co.uk writes:

>>>>> To sum up: Blackmore is right in that "the self" is not ultimately real,
> but then nothing else is either. Jake is right that it remains a highly
> useful concept, at least, and perhaps an indispensable one. There is no
> necessary conflict there.
> --
> Robin Faichney <<
>
>Only if I agree that nothing is real.
>
>I know that some people think it would be so nice if everybody could be
right.
>
>I personally don't worry myself with such wishes.

Can't you grasp the distinction between ultimate reality and pragmatic
realism? Hint: I did *not* say that nothing is real.
--
Robin Faichney<<

I understand that you did not SAY "nothing is real". I chose to read your
statements as if they meant something. There is the possibility that they
don't mean anything, and I avoided that. If "ultimate reality" is something
different from reality, then I would have to conclude that I have no idea
what you are talking about. Things can only be defined relative to other
things, and aside from reality, I know of nothing more.

"Ultimate reality", whatever that means, would have to be defined relative to
reality or something about reality, and someohow I can't imagine that meaning
"ultimate" in any sense that I understand the word "ultimate". This is even
beyond any issues about how one would even refer to or experience "ultimate
reality" - and if they could how would it be distinguishable from "just
regular reality". Those issues as well cannot be ignored. And if such a
thing were identified how could we really be sure that there wasn't and
"ultimater reality".

This all collapses into incoherency as far as I can tell. I believe that you
believe that the distinction is meaningful, however I cannot agree.
Somewhere along the path, I think that these people who proclaim to
understand S. Blackmore, must have slipped into some mystical babbling, and
perhaps she has herself. I understand that she plays the role of "agnostic"
for many paranormal believers, and I wonder if her attempts to be so
pleasantly "agnostic" have led to some subversion of her own language and
thoughts.

Aside from all of this, I am also wondering, since when is invoking Buddhism
considered to have such scientific validity as I have seen on this JoM list.
Would I be taken so seriously if I started quoting the Bible? I had sort of
imagined that this list, and presumably the journal, would be a little more
dedicated to avoiding such mystical invocations. I am not seeing any
respectable possibilities for a "science of memetics" here. Maybe it is just
as well. Maybe for "memetics" nothing more than mystical thinking is
possible. Somehow it didn't seem that way to me at first, but I could have
been wrong.

-Jake

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