16 May 2010
This is a short followup (I promise! It’s actually less than 15 minutes) clearing up some points from the previous episode. I took two fragments from the next day and mashed them together for this podcast. It is absolutely necessary to listen to Part 1 before listening to this.
In this first fragment B. Alan Wallace briefly returns to the topic of information flow, meaning-to-meaning communication (instead of achieving means through chemicals and brain correlates), and relates this to the placebo effect, specifically to how it is a blatant example of the mind’s capacity to heal itself and heal the body although modern science prefers to wrap itself up in tight conundrums and knots rather than accept this fact.
Then I cut to another fragment from the afternoon session in which B. Alan Wallace clears up some more points about the stream of name and flow and the mind-body problem. He details the hypothesis of the flow of consciousness (information), energy, and space as existence before the mind and body duality. In less than 5 minutes!
And to end this two-part podcast with an encouraging, defiant, educated, and exciting bang, Alan goes back to the history of Galileo. He shows how Galileo achieved authority in physics and ended up taking a “piece of the pie” from the church, simply because he really observed phenomena directly and this gave him the authority to be right, rather than believe people who make claims without really investigating the phenomenon which they claim absolute authority of.
This is what needs to happen in the mind sciences. As was said in Part 1, observing through physical means and asking physical questions will lead to physical answers. The mind is obviously not physical. This means that the authority over the science of the mind should be not in the hands of scientific materialists, it should be in the hands of professional, highly trained contemplatives who have been studying this field for millennia. Just as Galileo claimed authority in the physical sciences from the Catholic Church, so must contemplatives claim authority from the “Church Scientific” in regards to the domain of the mind. This scientific materialism is extending its domain way beyond what they know about, and reducing everything to biological mechanisms simply won’t provide answers. So, let them contribute with their immensely valuable biological information about the brain, and let the real experts of the mind come in and contribute with their millennia-old knowledge of the mind.
Galileo did it, now it’s our turn to do it if we really want to advance scientifically in the study of the mind. Biology won’t cut it anymore.
The image used on the web and on the podcast file is the HUBBLE ULTRA DEEP FIELD. , the deepest portrait of the visible universe ever achieved by humankind.
Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Beckwith (STScI) and the HUDF Team.
This lecture does not have a text transcript. Please contact us if you’d like to volunteer to assist our transcription team.