Spirituality in the Digital Age

 

Now let’s take creative thought and the digital arts, and integrate them with the compassionate and kind life. What arises from this is the Post-digital Path. This term points significantly to our rapidly changed and changing relationships with digital technologies and art forms. It focuses on an attitude that is more concerned not with the digital in isolation but with ways in which digital technology can bring forth with the highest elements of what it means to be a human being human. The Post-digital path defines an ever changing reality that is anchored in enlightenment.

This conversation is important for it helps each of us to define what it means when we say “I’m spiritual, but not religious”> On this path the student must explore ways in which 21st century technology and social dynamics – power, competition, altruism and hierarchy – may affect human conceptualizations of the world. This practice helps us redefine the way knowledge is constructed and used.  This is a real paradigm shift, a shift in the mathematics of a particular reality. Specifically defined, a paradigm is a theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework; specifically of a linguistic discipline or a mathematically based or scientific school of thought. The word paradigm was first presented by Thomas Kuhn in his book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

Mr. Kuhn’s descriptive word was specifically created to address ideas related to the natural sciences and would not,  in the strict sense of the word, be used outside of a strictly logical or rational model, since to do so is to corrupt the purpose of the definition to begin with. In Postmodernism and Zen there is no rigid view of anything – no paradigm.

You see, the natural sciences are disciplines and schools of thought with specific and definable laws and theories.  They include experiments that might be performed in support of these disciplines and schools of thought, and the laws, rules and guidelines that define them.

The more involved you become in the applying of  Zen, Taoism and post modern thought to creating a life of love, wisdom, compassion, spiritual contentment and happiness many of the distinctions between paradigms, social paradigms, and other forms of belief will disappear while other, more subtle distinctions will become apparent.

 

To paraphrase Joseph Campbell the pioneering anthropologist: The artist is the clergy for the modern age. I think this is even more so ON the Post-modern and post-digital path.

 

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Lewis Harrison the creator of this blog is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching. He is creating a series of ebooks entitled “Ask Lewis…” which will be available on line.

This blog is explored more fully through Lewis E-book “A Primer To Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory”. Lewis’ ebook “How to Predict the Future (Not!) ”,  is available as a $7.00 e-book. You can order it directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

 

Lewis owns a stress management consulting and corporate chair massage company www.eventschairmassage.com

 

Lewis offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

Zen Koans, Quantum Theory and Science

Those who attempt to merge Quantum Theory  with Zen, Taoism, and others Wisdom Paths from a purely superficial level will often fall into the trap of embracing superstition, or some “fluffy” new age idea as truth, while ridiculing scientific thought and logic as rigid and unenlightened.  This is unfortunate because science, when applied appropriately, is a great gift to the seeker of both knowledge and wisdom.
The word, “Science”, from the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”, refers to a system of gathering knowledge (research) so specific, that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently. This system -the scientific method -was introduced by Sir Francis Bacon, and it is through his strict definitions that the scientific revolution has come to be what it is today.  It is through Bacon’s definition that the outcomes of research form a scientific body of knowledge.

There is actually a much broader definition for the word “science”. One might also define science as a systematic knowledge, particularly any highly skilled practice, technique, or technology that is capable of resulting in a correct prediction or reliable outcome.  There are different disciplines that fit this definition, including social science, formal science, and natural science.  There are also cross -disciplines between the sciences, an example being biophysics.

Even the three categories I have just named are not rigidly defined, and in fact there are many important thinkers that do not agree with this approach to defining the sciences.  Nonetheless, I began with this approach because I had to begin somewhere, and this approach seemed as reasonable as any other.

1.      Natural Sciences.  These are organized categories of information that involve the study of phenomena or laws of the physical world.  Among the most well-known of the natural sciences are physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and so on.

2.       Formal Sciences.  A “formal science” uses words and terms with very specific definitions (formal language) and combines them with deductive reasoning as a means for creating a system by which some well-formed specific formulas, rules, and codes can be derived from others that are more general.  Within the category of formal science is mathematics, logic, statistics, information theory, and theoretical computer science.  All of these use deductive reasoning, and tell us that if something is true in one game, (a class of things in general) this truth applies to all legitimate players in that game. (Class)  The key, then, is to be able to properly identify players in the game. (Members of the class) Mis-categorizing them will result in invalid conclusions, for example; “He is a vegan.”  This is based on the logic that in the vegan game, (class) a person does not consume foods that contain meat, fish, eggs, poultry, dairy, or any other “animal ingredients.”  Thus, if a person says, “I am a vegan,” we can have a certainty of what he or she means by this, since the meaning of the word “vegan” is very specific.  The power and importance of this approach in science, and certainly in game theory, is that it frees us from the need to examine the eating habits of each and every vegan we ever come across.  Because of the validity of specialized and specific language, combined with the deductive approach, both key elements of formal science, we are able to make an assumption that is useful, efficient, and effective.  Without deep exploration, we can reasonably assume what “I am a vegan” means.

3.      Social Sciences.  The term “social science,” like “game theory,” is an umbrella term for many different games of organized knowledge and information.  Social science games, as I now call them, require that one explores aspects of human society in ways that cannot be easily explained mathematically.  Among the most familiar social sciences are;  anthropology, communication, criminology, cultural studies, developmental studies, economics, history, linguistics, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, social network analysis, social psychology, sociology, and social work.

So there it is, three types of science, organized in a not-so-neat package. I say “not-so-neat” because many important thinkers question where something like computer science even fits the definition of what a science is.  Bacon would have required real-world experiments to come to some conclusion about truth or fact.  Many of the sciences that are based on the definition of a “formal science” lack any real-world experimentation to support their conclusions.

On the Wisdom Path, science becomes a tool for understanding and applying information. Science is not “truth.”  It is just science.  As I began to organize my thoughts into the book you are now reading, I surrendered the need for an empirical basis to prove any one point.  Instead I decided to follow the path of most of the scientists I spoke with, and treat the formal sciences as science, simply because they are extremely important.  In fact, all quantitative sciences – including many of the social sciences such as sociology, psychology, anthropology etc, depend on them.  It may be an ongoing debate as to whether or not any of the formal sciences can be named a true science, but unless one chooses to become a monastic, then the sciences can be invaluable – especially when you come face to face with hierarchies, competition, the need to define goals and priorities in relation to the hundreds of sub-disciplines, sub-categories, and specialized games within games the game of life.

This way of seeing the world is explained effectively in The Kālāma Sutta (also known as the Kālām Sutta.  The Kālāma Sutta  is a discourse of the Buddha contained in the Aṅguttara Nikaya of the Tipiṭaka, and is often cited by students of some Buddhist traditions as the Buddha‘s “charter of free inquiry.”  This means one needs  to respect the use of sound logical reasoning, arguments, and the dialectic principles for inquiries in the practice that relates to the discipline of seeking truth, wisdom, and knowledge, whether it is religious or not.

The Kālāma Sutta is also used to support the concept of applying conservation and balance to one’s Wisdom Practice, especially concerning one’s conduct in practical matters.  In short, the Kālāma Sutta is opposed to blind faith, dogmatism, and belief spawned from faulty reasoning. More consistent with the scientific method than traditional, faith-based religion, the Kālāma Sutta insists on a proper assessment of evidence, rather than a reliance on faith, hearsay, or speculation.

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Lewis Harrison is an speaker, consultant, and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. He is a  pioneer in the personal development movement  The author of nine  self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching.

He is the author of the Comprehensive book Healing Depression naturally www.HealingDepressionBook.com

He created the course on Life Strategies www.LewisHarrisonsAppliedGameTheory.com  – based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”. Lewis holds regular stress management,  and meditation retreats at his Spa in the Western Catskills. Learn more at Thecatskillsbedandbreakfast.com

His company offers on-site chair massage through www.eventschairmassage.com

Lewis hosts a weekly radio show “What Up” that explore game theory. The show broadcasts Wednesdays and Thursday on WIOX 91.3 FM  – 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EST).  The show is also available as an internet stream at the same time period at WIOXRadio.org

Zen Mind, Depression Symptoms and Being Objective

I use Zen thought as a tool for helping people heal from depression. I was motivated to do this because of an interview with Leonard Cohen the singer, introspective composer and student of Zen. Cohen talks about being depressed for many years.

Many students of Zen are falsely obssesed with the idea of being objective in thought

It is virtually impossible to be objective, simply because it is the subjective individual seeking to do this. It is also virtually impossible to present objective knowledge in words because there is no subjective or explicit knowledge that can be communicated as an objective form of knowledge. Once it is transferred to another person through communication it becomes subjective. An objective knowledge is what can be called Wisdom Mind. It is “what is”. It exists as an internal awareness. A subjective viewpoint on the other hand will reflect many factors in an individual’s life including gender, genetic factors, personal history, educational background, core beliefs and socialization. You cannot seek objective knowledge since even seeking it is subjective. By consistent practice, meditation, studying kōans, etc. one can have glimpses of objective knowing.

In time you will come to realize that objective and subjective ways of experiencing the world can serve each other. By organizing and differentiating the various types of knowledge, you will be able to apply an objective internal knowing to transcend obstacles that fact or information – based knowledge could never address.

What is the purpose of seeking knowledge? Your  intention is to explore life and the process of living, speak little, listen carefully and be open.  There is no objective here. Just live your best life and seek council with those who seem to have wisdom. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know. This is the essence of the Wisdom Path.

This is an extract from the book “Spiritual But Not Religious” By Lewis Harrison

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Lewis Harrison is an speaker, consultant, and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. He is a  pioneer in the personal development movement  The author of nine  self help books on human potential he offers seminar, workshops, retreats and phone based coaching.

He is the author of the Comprehensive book Healing Depression naturally www.HealingDepressionBook.com

He created the course on Life Strategies www.LewisHarrisonsAppliedGameTheory.com  – based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash the Nobel prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”. Lewis holds regular stress management,  and meditation retreats at his Spa in the Western Catskills. Learn more at Thecatskillsbedandbreakfast.com

His company offers on-site chair massage through www.eventschairmassage.com

Lewis hosts a weekly radio show “What Up” that explore game theory. The show broadcasts Wednesdays and Thursday on WIOX 91.3 FM  – 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EST).  The show is also available as an internet stream at the same time period at WIOXRadio.org

Zen and Life Strategies

A game theory based strategy when applied by a student of Zen is much more effective because this strategist is less likely to be hobbled by expectations of the future or regrets about the past.

Many of the developers of of artificial intelligence at the MIT labs in the 1950s were students of Zen.

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Lewis Harrison is an author, speaker, meditation teacher and Zen Based Life Coach. He offers on-line training through the Natural Healing Academy – www.Chihealer.com

Lewis conducts intensive weeklong residential retreats at the Harrison Center in Stamford NY – www.TheHarrisonCenter.com

You can read his daily blog and receive free courses on Zen and Applied Game Theory at www.LewisHarrisonsAppliedGameTheory.com