Jan 3Liked by Mark P Xu Neyer (apxhard)

I'll have a handful of whatever magic mushrooms you're eating, Mark. This is sterling (and as I've said before, you're clearly completely out of your tree, in the best possible way).

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Jan 3Liked by Mark P Xu Neyer (apxhard)

Mark, this is excellent. For some reason I can't find the like button for this post. But I did click the like on your other post about a million stupid cousins.

Half of my brain is mystical. Half of my brain is materialistic. And those two parts fuck with each other for a very long time.

The problem was resolved for me when I read an essay by Ken Wilber, in which he talked about the eye of (materialistic) science, the eye of mathematics, and the eye of spirit.

He pointed out that science neither proves nor disproves mathematics and mathematics either proves nor disproves science. They are completely independent domains it happens to be a fact that mathematics is useful in understanding science.

Proof is part of mathematics, but not science. Mathematics, science, and spirituality are all subject to the "scientific methods" One of which is to make hypotheses, perform experiments, observe the results..

In the world of spirit there are experiments you can do. You can sit on a cushion and meditate. You can pray to Jesus. You can look for the magic in the universe. You do these things in an open-minded scientific way, and something may or may not occur to you.

People have been doing some of these things for millennia, and as you correctly point out the fact that these ideas have stuck around is some evidence of their value.

So I stopped trying to use science to prove spirituality and accepted the fact that they were different ways of looking at the universe. Just as materialistic science and mathematics were different ways of looking at the universe.

Have you read or listened to Bernardo Bastrop ZThe points out that the one thing we can be certain of is consciousness,. Yet we wrong-mindedly attempt to try to explain consciousness in materialistic terms, when the material universe appears to us only in consciousness, and our experience of it at least is certainly an illusion. (The universe may or may not exist, but what we experience is the result of sense data being processed through the neural networks of our brains, and the visual cortex making a prediction about what is out there, and that is what we experience)

Anyway, keep up the good work!

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Really enjoyed this one! I've never really adopted the view that a world devoid of magic was also devoid of wonder. Too many renowned scientists (and regular, intelligent people) point in the exact opposite direction.

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Jan 3Liked by Mark P Xu Neyer (apxhard)

Thank you for this piece.

If we watch a wound on our body heal, or hair or nails grow - in hyperlapse - that's pretty freaking 'magical'.

My kids once quipped that they wished that magic was real. I point out that they don't see the magic around them because it is familiar, quotidian.

Dig up some mud from the ground. Dig up some liquids as well. Apply a bit of unlikely alchemy & you can get those two to create motion strong enough to power farm machinery, & transportation across the World: the humble internal combustion engine turns a simple liquid into stupendous & powerful motion. That's pretty fcking magical to me.

Take any technology back into time - & even the greatest scientists of the time will conclude 'magic' - or witchcraft.

And today - we can see into a person's mind as it thinks of a tennis ball - with MRI.

The magic of the Universe & especially our interaction with it - never ceases to amaze me.

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

A. Einstein

He didn’t say you can’t live both ways but I’m going with everything

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It's all magic. I don't give a damn what anybody else thinks about that. Be materialist miserable if you think it is so true. I won't bother to consult the cards on your behalf. You probably won't like what they have to say anywho. (Speaking rhetorically of course.)

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Contradiction in terms. Either the paranormal exists or it doesn't. It does (see my Substack).

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