Discussion with Nicky from IMDB
This is the starting point for a discussion that started on the IMDB discussion board for "War of the Worlds". I felt that we were getting increasingly off-topic, so I offered to move to another place.
You can view the old discussion here:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0407304/board/flat/21069806
I'm looking forward to Nicky joining in and continuing that discussion.
For convenience, here's my latest contribution:
> HA, amusing brain stuff you've worked out there.
Thanks. I choose not to hear any irony in that.
> I agree though. "Mind over Matter" is a recurring "term" (created by whom?)
> with the purpose of indicating that spirit controls matter. True that the
> definitions might be questionable from time to time. Of course I mean that
> the SPIRIT controls the MEST, but the term "Mind over Matter" seeemed more
> well known and actually sounded better :)
It is simply another dualistic way of thinking. Historically, this goes back
to the ancient greeks. Many religions have incorporated some kind of
spirit/matter dualism - christianity has basically taken it from the
Hellenists when it conquered the Roman empire.
> Matter is composed of energy, we seem to agree on that one.
Actually, no. I was just explaining the problems involved in the usual form of
the "everything is energy" term, which is so annoyingly often used
thoughtlessly in "esoteric" circles. My personal view is that matter and
energy are transformable into each other, but that the absolute "substance" of
the universe is something trancending both energy and matter, something we
have no good idea of. Call it God, if you will. Something that might or might not exist. I don't believe that a totally coherent world-view is possible.
> difference between matter and energy? If not, it's an energy of fact that
> batteries have some matter stored.
It is! And batteries are one wonderful way of describing how energy
becomes matter and vice versa.
Once you start thinking that way, you're well en route to becoming a
philosopher of language. But then, the whole issue of metaphors comes into
play, and I won't bug you with that.
> So the spirit, thetan in scio-lingo, IS the person, DOES the thinking,
> POSTULATES the future and makes DECISIONS. The thetan has no place in the
> physical universe, MEST. The thetan doesn't consist of any wavelength, no
> weight, no location and you can't measure it. It's not a part of this
Do we agree that the universe is everything that exists? If so, how can
something that is not part of the universe control things within that
universe? How can something that doesn't exist control something that exists?
How can the thetan get the information needed to control the body? How does
the thetan see, smell, hear?
But wait, if the universe is NOT everything that exists, then what does the
term "universe" at all mean? What is outside the universe? And how can we even
TALK about it? We obviously know only things inside this universe, since we
exist as a part of it. So how can we even have an idea of something that does
not exist within it?
In other words: What do the expressions "God loves", "God is angry", "God is
almighty" mean? What does "The thetan takes a decision" mean?
As far as I see it, scientology is just another dualistic ideology. This is
not such a bad thing, mind you - generations of philosophers have thought that
way. Still, there is nothing to be excited about it, either, it's nothing new
under the sun. I personally prefer to try and transcend dualism.
> The mind consists of stored Mental Image Pictures, probably billions of
> them, probably even more...
If the mind is not material, how can it store pictures?
> Hubbard has dated the Time Track to be very, very, very old.
How has he done that? What was his scientific method? Are his results
> Finally, the BODY is meat and incestines (with a brain made out of
> synapses). It's just a body.
It's "just" a body. Everytime I hear someone say that, I can't help but
suspect that there is something of that old substantialist misunderstanding in
that sentence. As if the body were less valid than the mind. As if it was
something to look down on. As if it was just a toy.
The body is one part of our being. It is equally relevant as our mind, spirit,
As I'm working a lot with hypnosis and trance states, I might well fall for
the "mind over matter" thesis. I do work on the mind, after all, and
experience its power over matter all the time.
So why don't I think that mind is somehow "more" than body?
First off, there's a very personal reason. Being a spastic, I have long
discovered that I need to be friends with my body. If I don't, I'll end up in
a wheelchair. As simple as that. I can't look down on my friend. (No pun intended)
Second, I'm a skeptic. If I was to adopt scientology, I would start to adapt
and improve it almost instantly. So I also doubt the old mind/body dualism.
They wouldn't like me there, believe me.
Third, I'm a person who dwells in language, who surrounds himself with words,
who works on another weird story almost every day. So it just comes natural to
tell stories to people and work on their minds by way of those stories, but
that doesn't mean that the mind is better. It's just a more practical place to
start, that's all.
I personally tend to think that body and mind are like a feedback loop. They
influence each other all the time. Which is just one reason why I think that
death will definitely change the spirit in most fundamental ways, if not
> These are the separate parts of the human being, homo sapiens. Actually and
> amusingly, I think LRH created a new term, homo nova or something for an
> educated individual without his own reactive mind etc.
Of course he did. It is one of the features of pseudo-science as well as
cults and sects to create superfluous terms and nifty abbreviations just to
confuse the audience and sound more clever.
Perhaps we should discuss this onhttp://www.livejournal.com/community/philosophy
- or any other place where
this is on topic, basically. This is a film board, and I'm getting a bad
feeling from discussing scientology's philosophy here endlessly.