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9519Re: Molecular Biology of Paradise/Steve Talbott

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  • holderlin66
    Oct 9, 2003
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      Jan wrote;

      "I have known children from state schools overcome great problems
      too, often
      at cost. Michaelite children are everywhere, taking it all on,
      engaging as
      best they can, bravely fighting an unequal battle, and it is getting
      harder
      for them. I know some of these children, now on Prozac related drugs.
      Where are these drugs leading? They cause dysfunction of the light
      sensitive, electro magnetic sensitive pineal gland, which regulates
      very
      many activities in the brain and body via hormones and
      neurotransmitters,
      and whose physical, let alone Spiritual function is far from properly
      understood by orthodox medicos.
      As Ahriman makes human life increasingly unbearable for so many, a
      luciferic interim paradise is offered, via chemical DNA specific
      genetic
      drugs."

      Bradford comments;

      In following the potent field fight in the glade of Luciferic Forces
      we have some wonderful Knights in the field. They swing a solid
      stroke and mean thought sword. I can testify directly that these
      thoughts are being felt as particular sharp singes, [based on the
      Nasghoul ice sword vs sting of Frodo fame]. If we can depict the
      fragments and the key indications that Jan had brought up regarding
      Obsessive compulsive pockets of fragmented soul forces, from her
      shattering Donnie Darko research on this list awhile back, we can
      clearly see what part of the fragmenting of the psychological
      structure is used to tear itself out of the higher ego. Get tormented
      chunks of medically severed behavior become food for feeding Beings
      hungering for light, anykind of light, including fragments of ripped
      away soul life that humans cannot contain within the Ego forces. What
      is the value of 'Fair and Balanced'? It has a tremendous spirutal
      currency if it runs through the I AM as a discerning balancing force
      with rich Michael thinking and science clarification. That is partly
      what STeve Talbott does.

      Talbott is another quiet KNight, with his own castle, brought to my
      attention by Jo Ann and Southern Cross Review a few years back. Web
      sites and mythical castles with their own 'customs of the castle' are
      like curious myths. We approach places and we wonder what forces we
      will encounter. It is good to have a Michael Citadel for unfolding
      the Open Michael School insights. But here is a stark and bare castle
      with great wisdom and strength in it. Here support thinking comes to
      the aid of Jan's rich research.

      Steve Talbott:

      http://www.praxagora.com/stevet/netfuture/2003/Oct0703_150.html

      "You may have heard about the efforts to build a kind of computer out
      of
      DNA and various other ingredients. According to one report,

      Recently the first game-playing biomolecular device was revealed --
      an
      enzyme-powered tic-tac-toe machine, which could not be beaten ....
      In
      February of this year the smallest biological computing device was
      announced -- a microliter of salt solution containing three
      trillion
      self-contained DNA computing devices. (CNN.com, September 22,
      2003)

      So now we have "biomolecular devices" and "DNA computing devices".
      These
      phrases suggest that DNA and biomolecules can themselves reasonably be
      thought of as computational devices. But they can't. The
      computation is
      achieved at a high level of abstraction through an elaborate
      arrangement
      that we, using sophisticated techniques, impose upon the various
      materials. Only when we ignore everything about these materials
      except
      for the role we have assigned them in our carefully designed and
      controlled arrangement can we speak of a "device" -- and then the term
      refers to a logic of the artificial arrangement in its entirety, the
      logic
      of our own artifice, not to the separate materials we employ. To
      refer to
      biomolecules themselves as "devices" is a blatant misuse of language.

      Here's a close analogy. Every four years we in the U.S. manage to
      orchestrate an elaborate computational process called a "national
      election". It more or less succeeds (if we ignore the law of chad
      indeterminacy) in producing a correct tabulation of votes, thereby
      indicating who our next president will be. But the success of this
      intricately designed computational process is no ground for
      reconceiving
      the individual human being as an example of such a process. We are
      not
      voting devices. Similarly, our ability to employ DNA within a
      computational process gives us no justification for thinking of DNA
      as a
      computing device. But this is exactly what the language we saw will
      lead
      to.

      It is necessary for us, in various limited ways, to impose an
      artificial
      calculational logic upon organisms and societies. We do need to
      cooperate
      in producing clearly defined, numerically accurate election results.
      Unfortunately, our ability to do this -- and to analyze the process
      with
      great logical and mathematical sophistication -- tempts us to lose
      sight
      of the living reality beneath the calculational grid we have laid
      over it.

      To see this you need only look at American politics, where the
      statistical
      analysts now drive the process and citizens really do become, for the
      politicians, mere voting devices who, it is hoped, will respond
      automatically to well-calculated stimuli. This is why conversation --
      the
      genuine speaking of one's thoughts, feelings, questions, and
      uncertainties
      to one's fellow citizens -- is no longer a natural part of the
      process.
      Politicians do not address citizens; they try to manipulate biological
      voting devices.

      There is a lesson in this degeneration of American politics. One
      should
      never think that focusing sophisticated computational techniques upon
      new
      domains will have no effect upon what those domains become. And this
      in
      turn makes one wonder: as the era of DNA "computing devices" gets
      under
      way, will DNA-bearing organisms fare any better than voting
      citizens? For
      an answer, check the attitude toward the caged animals in your nearest
      genetic engineering laboratory.

      Perfecting the Dance, Forgetting the Dancer
      -------------------------------------------

      We use drugs, surgery, mechanical implants, and (experimental) genetic
      modification techniques to heal the human body. Why should we not
      use the
      same techniques to promote human excellence, quite apart from dealing
      with
      illness and injury? For example, "drugs to improve memory,
      alertness, and
      amiability could greatly relieve the need for exertion to acquire
      these
      powers, leaving time and effort for better things".

      That is one of the questions posed by Leon Kass in "Ageless Bodies,
      Happy
      Souls: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Perfection", which appeared
      in the
      spring, 2003 issue of The New Atlantis. (For more on that
      publication,
      see "Announcements and Resources" below.) Kass, who is chairman of
      the
      President's Council on Biotechnology, argues that we cannot reject
      the new
      techniques simply because they are artificial or unnatural, since we
      accept at least some artificial interventions for healing. But he
      does
      have a deeper concern:

      Character is not only the source of our deeds, but also their
      product.
      People whose disruptive behavior is "remedied" by pacifying drugs
      rather than by their own efforts are not learning self-control; if
      anything, they are learning to think it unnecessary. People who
      take
      pills to block out from memory the painful or hateful aspects of a
      new
      experience will not learn how to deal with suffering or sorrow. A
      drug
      to induce fearlessness does not produce courage.

      Kass grants that some biotechnical interventions "may assist in the
      pursuit of excellence without cheapening its attainment", but finds
      that,
      in general "'naturalness' of means matters". The danger in drugs and
      devices is that they may violate or deform the deep structure of human
      activity:

      In most of our ordinary efforts at self-improvement, either by
      practice
      or training or study, we sense the relation between our doings and
      the
      resulting improvement, between the means used and the end sought.
      There is an experiential and intelligible connection between means
      and
      ends; we can see how confronting fearful things might eventually
      enable
      us to cope with our fears. We can see how curbing our appetites
      produces self-command. Human education ordinarily proceeds by
      speech
      or symbolic deeds, whose meanings are at least in principle
      directly
      accessible to those upon whom they work.

      By contrast, reliance upon technical means can lead us away from
      "'genuine', unmediated, and (in principle) self-transparent human
      activity". I can use a calculator to do arithmetic, but this does not
      make me a knower of arithmetic; the mathematical know-how my activity
      taps
      into is neither transparent nor my own.

      All this captures, I think, the fundamental truth that we can never
      adequately understand a human performance as a product independent of
      the
      performer. However outwardly focused the performance may be, its
      essential meaning includes the self's development through its own
      exertions. We express ourselves not only to achieve something "out
      there", but also because something "in here" drives us to it, and in
      the
      expressing we strengthen and deepen our inner powers of expression.
      As
      Kass puts it, "our genuine happiness requires that there be little
      gap, if
      any, between the dancer and the dance". And the same principle
      applies to
      our assessment of the achievements of others: we rightly value every
      human expression, from the pianist's recital to the scholar's text to
      the
      quarterback's athletic artistry, not merely as an external product,
      but as
      part of the unfolding revelation of an expressing self. Therein lies
      its
      ultimate significance. Conversely, whatever does not arise from the
      expressing self is not fundamental. There are, in the end, no
      worthwhile
      "things" in the world; there are only worthwhile doings.

      Kass discusses not only the means by which we achieve things, but
      also the
      ends we pursue. He asks whether the goal of a "happy soul", sought
      by so
      many through drugs, is a worthy one. His answer is wonderfully clear:

      There seems to be something misguided about the pursuit of utter
      psychic tranquility, or the attempt to eliminate all shame, guilt,
      and
      painful memories. Traumatic memories, shame, and guilt, are, it is
      true, psychic pains. In extreme doses, they can be crippling. Yet
      they are also helpful and fitting. They are appropriate responses
      to
      horror, disgraceful conduct, and sin, and, as such, help teach us
      to
      avoid them in the future. Witnessing a murder should be remembered
      as horrible; doing a beastly deed should trouble one's soul.
      Righteous
      indignation at injustice depends on being able to feel injustice's
      sting. An untroubled soul in a troubling world is a shrunken human
      being. More fundamentally, to deprive oneself of one's memory --
      including and especially its truthfulness of feeling -- is to
      deprive
      oneself of one's own life and identity.

      Kass goes on to note that our feeling states do not give us the
      essence of
      the achievements we aim at through our goals. "No music lover would
      be
      satisfied with getting from a pill the pleasure of listening to Mozart
      without ever hearing the music. Most people want both to feel good
      and to
      feel good about themselves, but only as a result of being good and
      doing
      good".

      Finally,

      There is a connection between the possibility of feeling deep
      unhappiness and the prospects for achieving a genuine happiness.
      If
      one cannot grieve, one has not loved. To be capable of
      aspiration, one
      must know and feel lack .... human fulfillment depends on our being
      creatures of need and finitude and hence of longings and
      attachment.

      The long, concluding paragraph of Kass' article (not quoted here) is
      transcendent and luminous. I can strongly recommend the entire
      essay."
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