In a strange turn of events, the conservative guy who doesn’t believe in science (Didn’t anyone tell you us conservatives don’t believe in science?) was catching up on his regular reading of the “I F**king Love Science” Facebook page and thought he’d share it on his little old blog.
Consider the following procedures:
The Ganzfeld Procedure:
At first this sounds like a bad practical joke. Begin by turning the radio to a station playing static. Then lie down on the couch and tape a pair of halved ping-pong balls over your eyes. Within minutes, you should begin to experience bizarre set of sensory distortions. Some people see horses prancing in the clouds, or hear the voice of a dead relative. It turns out that the mind is addicted to sensation, so that when there’s little to sense — that’s the purpose of the ping pong balls and static — your brain ends up inventing its own.
The Incredible Shrinking Hand:
Last month, researchers at Oxford University announced the discovery of a powerful new painkiller: inverted binoculars. The scientists found that subjects who looked at a wounded hand through the wrong end of binoculars, making the hand appear smaller, felt significantly less pain and even experienced decreased swelling. According to the researchers, this demonstrates that even basic bodily sensations such as pain are modulated by what we see. So next time you stub your toe or cut your finger, do yourself a favor: look away.
The Rubber Hand Illusion:
If you happen to have a rubber arm in the closet, then this hallucination is for you. Begin by hiding your actual arm behind a box on a table so that you can’t see it. Then arrange the fake arm on the table, so that from your point of view it looks like it could be your hidden arm.
A friend should then stroke both the real hand and the rubber hand in the same place and at the same time. After a few minutes, you should feel like the fake limb has become your own flesh.
Then have your friend stab the rubber hand, or hit it with a hammer: You will feel a powerful jolt of anxiety and pain, since your brain is convinced that the rubber hand is real.
Science is great, but it has its limits. Worse, hubris leads researchers to believe that through their five (often unreliable) senses they could unlock all the mysteries of the universe. For many, science is just as much of a religion as Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism.
One of the questions I often have for my skeptical friends is: How do you know that there aren’t forces in motion that are operating on levels beyond the understanding of your fives senses? A tape recorder is made to understand the world through sound waves, but that doesn’t mean that light waves don’t exist. Likewise, we (the elegant machines we are) understand the world through sight, sound, touch, smell and taste — but it’s very possible the world is made up of “matter” that our senses can not detect.
As the “I F**king Love Science” page points out, the mind is apparently “addicted to sensation” — so much so that it will “invent” sensation when you try and cut it off.
Another way of saying all of this is that your ego is addicted to sensation. But you are not your ego. You are much, much more. Many people have so much faith in science that they refuse to explore these questions, and as a result they become a slave to their ego.
A host of faiths have asserted for ages that there is a “self” operating behind the ego, and those who have become more in tune with it have used that connection to greatly enrich their lives (and the lives of others).
As I’ve pointed out before, it is no coincidence that television programming encourages you to run up the credit card for things you don’t need. The brain is addicted to sensation, and with that comes an addiction to gadgets and gizmos, designer clothes and fancy cars. At that point, you are a slave to other men and organizations that do not have your best interest in mind.
The person who can observe reality from a higher level of consciousness does not care about celebrities and video games, gossip and politics. The person who is in tune with his oneness with the universe and cognizant of his own higher being is not easily pitted against his fellow man. He can not be exploited by politicians. He thinks for himself and follows the path his heart instructs him to follow.
You were meant to accomplish great things. You have a higher purpose, but modern society is geared towards getting you to deny who and what your really are. Whether it’s through meditation, reading the wisdom of Lao Tzu, familiarizing yourself with the teachings of Jesus or simply opting for your friendly neighborhood Google search engine, I encourage you to explore the interconnectedness between science and spirituality even further. If you do, I believe you will be well on your way to realizing your full potential.