Non-locality - Generation, Organization, Delivery (GOD/god)??
Face-Off: The Story is Changing
By Bart B. Van Bockstaele.
ABC News - Nightline - Face-Off
In this fifth part of an ABC News Face-Off debate, Sam Harris explains why he is insisting on traditional religions and their holy books, not Chopra's non-locality. Jean Houston talks about changing stories.
Sam Harris starts this part of the debate by explaining that the vast majority of the people who are watching the conversation will never have heard of nonlocality and if they were to be explained what it means, they wouldn't care. What they worry about is Jesus, the collision with Islam, gay marriage, and that this is why they are having this conversation.
Deepak Chopra agrees, but says that this conversation should lead to another and another so that the god Harris is talking about can be relegated to the past and the future of god is to understand how a new understanding of science, a new understanding of the perennial wisdom traditions -otherwise called woowoo- actually can lead:
- to more compassion
- to more love
- to more kindness
- to more tolerance
- to more peace
- to more insight
- to more inspiration
- to more creativity
so we become the conscious beings through which the universe will take its next leap in evolution.
Says Michael Shermer: "All that sounds very good. You should be doing those things anyway, whether or not there is a god or a great spirit or a nonlocality."
To which Jean Houston replied that "I tends to attend to thou more than I tends to attend to it, it's about having that personal I-thou relationship". She continues saying that she once studied with Martin Buber who was by the way this tall and his beard was that long and he talked about this sense of personal relationship being dynamic in the spiritual experience. We are living at a time where we sit zazen and we flirt with Sufism and Buddhism and its many-many different ideologies. Is it cafeteria religion or is it people finding in the great ripaste of spiritual knowings, the wisdom traditions of many places, finding their own place slowly but surely in their own spiritual life.
Harris replies that many people are having remarkable experiences in every traditional context. That proves that all of these religions are wrong, because they all claim their own exclusive validity. It proves that there is a deeper principle that should be talked about in a non-sectarian way that is not held hostage by iron-age literature. In the scientific discourse on the possibilities of human well-being you can get as esoteric as you want. You can talk about self-transcendence, the ego being an illusion, the relationship between consciousness and the rest of the physical world and when you get out to those fringe areas, you get into areas of real scientific ignorance.
The first thing you want to do in the spirit of intellectual honesty is to admit ignorance, not claim that you, by closing your eyes can realize your identity with the entire cosmos and get before the big bang with your unguarded intuitions. That's not how you discover what happened.
Houston: You and I have very different perspectives in this, hahah. The big issue here in the future of god is that the reset button of history has been hit and that we are in times such as we have never had before, and that in such times, people are moving to a sense of radical empathy, not just with other's sensitivities and points of view but that we are also expanding our sensibility of what we have called transcendence, grace, love and compassion.
"We are creating a very unique and emergent spirituality and with that a new story. I think that a myth is something that never was but is always happening. It's almost like the coded DNA of the human mind-brain system." She finishes saying that this new story is about saving this beautiful planet in this its most critical moment in human history.
Harris replies that nowhere in human discourse is there a greater impediment to "changing the story" than in religion. He gives an example from the Qur'an in which a husband is required to whip his disobedient wife and uses that to show his point, namely that the iron-age holy books are claimed by each religion to be the inerrant word of god by explaining that -no matter how enlightened a believer may be- he can, at the most, decide that the whipping is to be symbolic and not hurtful, but that even this attitude is not conducive to improve the relationship between men and women. For that to happen, we must throw the book away.
Harris also asks Chopra why he uses the word god anyway, since he calls the traditional religions "cultural mythology, not religion".
Chopra replies saying that it is an acronym: generation, organisation, delivery. To which Harris reacts that it seems to him that Chopra is happy to be misunderstood. Pressed into a corner, Chopra says that he is sorry for being so combative and that this is because of Michael Shermer, but that he actually agrees with most of what Harris is saying.
Harris closes this part of the debate saying that god-talk is either profoundly misleading or unhelpful, or just part of the problem.