Showing posts with label rainbows. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rainbows. Show all posts

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Trascendence and Reason.

But you've had 'transcendental' moments, how do you make 'sense' of them.

I'm sure you dont just think 'rationally' all the time so how do you deal with these experiences?

Transcendental moments are the brain's way of saying: Stop. Pay attention.  Something important is happening here.  Neurotransmitters flood certain areas of the brain depending on the nature of the transcendence and essentially cause the whole brain to focus on the experience.  Some are purely a reward for being alive.  Rainbows and halos are one trigger for me.  They are my brain's way of telling me that I am the focus of all the beauty and wonder in the world.  Rational thought is not excluded, indeed one of the purposes of transcendent experiences is to explore why the brain is calling my attention to the experience.  At the very least rain and sun are necessary for life, and although rain may be an annoyance when it stops and the sun comes out I am rewarded by the brain for being outside in the unpleasant but necessary rain, and enjoying "My moment in the sun."   

The experience is far, far older than modern man, and indeed should be unremarkable for one whose only worry is that the car won’t skid on the wet road, but the brain remembers our ancestors who were out planting, weeding and otherwise getting sustenance for the family in the “bad” weather.   

Religion tries and generally succeeds in capturing transcendence and slaving it to the service of God, e.g. a rainbow is God's promise that Hesh won't kill all "that has the breath of life" ever again, with the not so veiled threat that Hesh could if Hesh wanted to.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Experiencing God

No Gods - beliefnet

The difference is quite simple when I experience anything of the Earth even something spiritual in the atheist sense of being true, or beautiful before rationalization, the fact remains that it can be rationalized and explained to others. The others may not get the same sense of spiritual wonder, but they might at least from my description understand where my spiritual experience is coming from. If I explain that I seem to be at the focal point of a brightly colored arc in the sky most people will say "Oh you mean a rainbow" It may have been a mistbow or a moonbow, but I won't quibble. They know and perhaps appreciate from having a similar experience to the one I described what I am talking about.

Similarly with almost any earthbound experience. Many more years ago than I want to admit I was 16 and in the middle of my active God search. I came out of a dark side street late evening and was stunned by the sight of the flood lighted Florence Cathedral across the plaza. Stunned in the sense I could not move or even think. All I could do was gawk at the sight. Later I could explain to my sister what I had seen, and she noted how she also was stunned even though she was expecting it and indeed looking for it.

In any experience on the Earth I can communicate what I experienced in a way that someone else could uniquely identify the experience if not the wonder I experienced. It would seem that someone experiencing God should be able to describe the experience in such a way that at least a sympathetic listener could say "Oh, that was God." It may be too much to ask for a skeptical atheist to recognize it, but at least a believer in some sort of God should recognize the description.

That was an experience when I was literally knocking on God's door, and should have experienced God if God existed. That and similar experiences where I was actually presupposing God not No-God, and got no result.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Intellectual Poverty of Rationalism

Antitheism? - Beliefnet:

"If a rationalist is unable to suspend disbelief as claimed to enjoy a learning experience or even a rollicking good time at a movie, reading a worth while fiction, listening to an emotional piece of music, or attending a religious service, but must analyze every nuance for compliance with their understanding of reality, usually material, is missing a major portion of what I experience as being an intelligent human.

The wonder and joy of a rainbow does not need be parsed into light ray patterns and ignored as merely physics. Although doing so after enjoying the wonder of the moment does not diminish and may increase the wonder and joy. Understanding that a rainbow is created by and uniquely for oneself is 'not merely physics' the interaction of the non-rational portion of the mind is essential.

I suspend disbelief in God each time I sing a Mass or a prayer in order to appreciate the non-rational wonder and beauty of a transcendant being that watches over me even after I die. Sure when it is over, all that remains is the wonder and beauty, and I might add the appreciation of the faith of believers, although I do not participate in it. I finally came to grips with the finality of death by understand the power of the 'Et Expecto' by believing it for a while."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

On Rainbows

This ought to be fun - Beliefnet :

"A rainbow does not exist at all without both an photosensitive device and an interpreter of the image produced by that photosensitive device. Therefore the interpreter creates the rainbow for the purpose of at the very least entertaining the interpreter, See video 5M+views. If a rainbow had no purpose you wouldn't even know what your fairies were talking about, because you never would have noticed one."

Friday, May 14, 2010

Atheist Spirituality

Beliefnet - Article from Science Daily

I don't see how any idea that contradicts reality can be considered spiritual. To my mind spirituality MUST conform to reality, otherwise it creates inner and external conflict.

My spirituality, which is independent of any deity supernatural or otherwise, frequently contradicts reality. There is no conflict. A rainbow or a sunrise has no meaning in reality. Both are easily explainable expressions of optical phenomenon. But sunrises and rainbows are reasons for me to get out of bed to appreciate the challenges and rewards of living yet another day, to do what I can to make it as meaningful as a sunrise or a rainbow. Rainbows especially as it takes both sun and rain to make one. Although a great sunrise will have both sun and clouds. But then clouds are just a meteorological phenomenon with no meaning and the sun is just a large thermonuclear reaction with even less meaning. It takes spirituality not reality to give meaning to either.

Of course in reality I am just another animal getting up every morning to eat and avoid being eaten, perhaps to live long enough to breed, and insure that the resulting children also get up every morning to eat. Perhaps I can help them avoid being eaten, and maybe I can even give them a reason to get up every morning. But of course none of that has anything to do with reality.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Circular Double Rainbow

Past the bridge on the Mist Trail as Vernal Falls gets near, the gorge fills with mist. The AM sun is normally ahead and to the right. If you stop and turn around in the bright sun in the morning you will see mist bows arching over the trail behind you.

One morning when the mist was particularly heavy (record runoff for the Merced) I turned around and found a perfect double circle mist bow starting at one of my pockets and ending in the other.

I ruefully thought that the legendary pot of gold was a bit of small change at one end of the bow and a few bucks at the other. But the bows themselves were priceless.