Friday, September 30, 2022

Introducing a new philosophical perspective: Earth Centrism

 Inviting Intelligent Critique & Constructive Challenges:

Introducing a New Philosophical Perspective.

Peter Miesler, September 2022

Founded on a life time of learning through the findings of scientists.

Earth Centrism

Because Earth is our ultimate touchstone with reality and ourselves.


This insight leads to a realization that, for this complex living Earth that we experience, to exist at all, is proof positive that our Earth evolved down one particular pathway, no matter what we people imagine one way or the other. 

Ours is to figure it out and appreciate - not to presume to define it!

We appreciate that we are evolved biological creatures born of Earth’s processes, as expressed through its singular Evolutionary Pageant.

We appreciation the profound divide between physical reality, that is matter, biology, laws of nature, on the one hand, and on the other, our thoughts unfolding within our amazing minds, (or more descriptively, within the realm of our “human mindscape").  

We appreciate that fundamentally awareness and life’s “consciousness spectrum” started over a billion years ago with the invention, then prospering, of the unbelievably complex organization of Eukaryote cells (some suggest guided by microtubules).  

Consider that in due time these cells created colonies of cells that demonstrated a sense of place and order and purpose or the organism would have dissolved into a chaotic blob.  Increasingly complex creatures depended, at every step, on increasing awareness, sensing, data processing, physical systems growth & maintenance, internal communication along with improving and refining manipulatory abilities.   

By and by, along came one particular clade the eutherians, small nocturnal insect eaters who gave birth to the class of mammalian animals, which begat the primates, which begat hominids, which begat our modern humankind species. 

Every stage required new refinements and developments within the complex sensing/body/brain system and the mind they collectively produce - refinements that are dependent on previous refinements and lessons.  Your Being is the sum total of all the days of Evolution that went into producing the human form you possess and live through, while your mind reflects the sum total of all the days you’ve lived and experienced.

I believe a genuine understanding of oneself starts with the realization that we are an evolved biological sensing creature, and that our consciousness is fundamentally the inside reflection of your body/brain dealing with itself and the environment/circumstance it is embedded within.  

This understanding leads to another inevitable realization, namely that, our “Gods” are in truth creations of our own minds, tailored by our self-serving egos.  Which is okay, just don’t take your God, or yourself, so seriously. 

 

“I Am, therefore I Think”

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It’s been four years since first writing about my reflections upon a small epiphany I experienced.  An insight which left a profound appreciation for the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide” through a deep-time evolutionary perspective.  My essay describing it is titled: "The Missing Key to Stephen Gould’s “Nonoverlapping Magisteria,” and has been followed by a some revisions.

Then I started reading Donald Hoffman’s: “Case Against Reality: why evolution hide the truth from our eyes” and found it a prime example of modern self-delusion and getting lost within a mindscape still shackled by Abrahamic thinking, (self-serving, self-certain, quick to simplistic assumptions, with its echos of dualism, and so on).  His insults towards Earth Sciences was a challenge I couldn’t turn away from and two years ago I posted the first installment of Prof Donald Hoffman Playing Basketball In Zero-Gravity - the prelude appeared, with my final being, A Preview of Cc's "Hoffman playing Basketball in zero-gravity" a critical review of his "Case Against Reality,”  last November.

My intellectual adventure has continued, with Daniel Dennett (someone I could at least take seriously) via his interesting book, “Consciousness Explained.”  But that only drove me to Descartes and his “Discourse on Method” which turned out way more fascinating than I’d expected.  

Though that still can’t hide the fact that Descartes lived during science's infancy.  Descartes was an accomplished mathematician and familiar with optics, but beyond that he knew nothing of astronomy, physics, or light, or biology, his inaccurate human physiological knowledge didn’t rise much above that of an intelligent, inquisitive butcher's.

In his defense, all Descartes had was his mind!  1600s learned texts were still more opinion based on various dogmas and wishful thinking, then evidence on facts to build upon.  Once he read enough books and learned enough to recognize that, he decided to deliberately focus on his own mind and thinking process to the exclusion of all the mucho blah blah of his day. 

Still, today we have authoritative trustable knowledge flooding in at us from every direction.  Not perfect, but there’s a process for separating the chaff from the grain, and the demand for Honesty and Truthfulness remains a prime cornerstone of science in a way that doesn’t seem to exist in the general society anymore.  Individually all we need to do, is the homework & learning that comes with it, if we want to understand 'why & how' for ourselves.

Seems to me younger people should be skeptical of our historical philosophical intellectual heroes, after all, look at the mess they helped set into motion.  Too much time spent on echo's of religious arguments and genius egos busy out doing each other.  Then that easy disregard for Earth's natural balance sheets of systems & processes, that incidentally are what's sustained us all these millennia of climate optimum, and long before.  

Our collective disregard for accepting the concepts of conserving, making things last, not to be so gluttonous and obsessed with so many empty bells and whistles that the Hollywood dream machine keeps churning out for us.  Working together with Earth's natural system, nurturing, rather than relentless extraction.

Why not take Earth's Evolution seriously and do the homework to learn about what makes her tick?

Isn’t it time we recognize a new difficult really is steamrolling at us?   We need real ideas and ways of seeing the world around us, because tomorrow keeps coming, and staying fixated on the rearview mirror is not the way to survive.  The old truths failed your future, don't be afraid of moving on.

As we continue into our future, catastrophe's will happen more frequently, but so does the morning after.  Many of us keep getting through it, survive and wake to face the new day.  Now, more than ever, we need to take into account the need for honesty, fairplay, goodwill, cooperation and striving to better understand this Earth and her global heat and moisture distribution engine that we depend on for everything.

But now I digress into motivations for not walking away from this frustrating intellectual adventure of mine.


Thank you for your time and interest,

Peter Miesler

Citizenschallenge at gmail




Friday, August 19, 2022

Dear Democratic Party (callers) . . .

In response to the flood of Democratic Party donation pitches I receive and since I don't have money for all of them, I want to tell what I do have to offer.  Need a dynamic researcher, drop me a line.  Here's an introduction along with some relevant links.

Democrats need more than cash!  The DNC need to better inform and engage their grassroots base, that means using every resource available, and that should include starting a Online Democratic Party Discussion Forum where people can share their ideas and network, educate, nurture enthusiasm, engage your base.  If we aren't changing minds we are losing. 

"Considering our dysfunctional public dialogue, in 14 verses."

FEBRUARY 10, 2022

Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum


Googling, “Why are Democrats losing voters?” reveals that voters who care are feeling so disenfranchised by the Democratic Party that they are turning off in droves. 


This, during a year that should have every Democracy loving American energized and looking for how they can best participate in the coming election, it’s frightening.

After all, more than anything this election will be about the future of open and fair elections in the USA. Beyond that, it’s going to be a national referendum between the importance of honesty and truth in America’s public dialogue vs. a descent into anger driven anarchy. No exaggeration, simply pay attention to how the Republican Party has been engaging in every imaginable dirty trick to stymie future election participation and voting legitimacy.

Successful politicians require strong, informed, proactive support at their backs if they are to lead, yet the DNC seems to be doing little to nurture that sort of buy-in from their grassroots. Why?

The DNC’s disregard towards rank and file concerns is reflected in the constant bombardment of DNC’s boilerplate donation pitches, as though donating money was all We The People are good for. I understand the need to fundraise, but what about making us feel like active participants through straight talk, informing us of challenges, calling for feedback, being responsive, nurturing engagement.

The DNC should earn its money by informing and engaging constituents in a way that makes sense to us and connects with our lives. Creating relevance, encourages enthusiasm, produces participation.


Why not use the internet? Why not create a quality internet platform for having constructive political dialogue?  By Democrats for Democrats!

The Democratic Party Online Discussion Forum. (continued)

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A distillation of my journey upon life's stage, vintage 1955. (5/5)

 

Nearing my 67th birthday, I’d like to share a collection of the fundamental lessons I’ve learned along the way.



    • Appreciating the Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.
    • I am a self-aware introspective element in the Pageant of Evolution.
    • We create our Gods from within ourselves.
    • We cannot understand an organism, or system for that matter, without understanding its environment.
    • Consciousness is the inside reflection of our body, interacting with itself, along with the environment and circumstance it's embedded within.
    • An appreciation for Deep Time, billions of years worth, and Earth, the dance of geology & biology unfolding one day at a time, and that it produced me, along with all other wonders.
    • There is no Body-Mind Problem, it is in actuality an Ego-God Problem.
    • My body has taken better care of me, than I have of it.
    • Consciousness is the product of Earth's biology, of interacting and living, when we die consciousness ceases like a light bulb that’s lost its power.  All that awaits us is the deep dark eternal sleep from which none awake, and it is good.
    • Yes, it is good, live your blessed moment while you have it to live, the universe doesn’t owe you anything.
    • Our after-life unfolds within the hearts and minds of others, and it is good.
    • We need each other to keep ourselves honest.

Bringing it back to Earth Centrism

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Recorded December 2019

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Recorded ~April, 2019


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Furthermore, for the record:





Hate to turn it political but politics matter!

Still looking to connect with people for whom these ideas resonate.



If we aren't changing minds we are losing.


©1975, Peter Miesler


citizenschallenge at gmail


Sunday, June 26, 2022

It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God issue.” (4-5)

©2022, citizenschallenge

 Who is “God,” but a creation of our unique complex human minds dealing with our day to days?  

Think about it, because that really is the most fundamental answer to The Grand Questions of God.  

The who, what, where, why, how of God that people have been grappling with since forever.  

It’s such a profoundly simple answer, yet people avoid it with an amazing alacrity and endless dog-chasing-tail rhetorical gymnastics that never arrive at any conclusion(s).

©2022, citizenschallenge

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It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God issue.”


Perhaps the most interesting lesson I’ve learned from my Hoffman adventure is that as I’ve followed the philosophical roots of “dualism” back through Descartes (1600s) and on past Anselm (1000s), one thing has become clear is that the entire philosophical edifice of this Mind-Body “Problem” was formed out of religious god fearing thinking, (What I've come to call the Abrahamic Mindset that gave us the three major religions - to be explained in more detail in a later post.), with their self-serving patriarchal mentality, heaven and hell, male domination, female subserviency, along with branding Dualism’s hard boundaries and its need for a sense of certitude into our minds and onto our expectations.

A need for certainty that allows for assumption to be paraded as facts, rather than being satisfied with acknowledging our limits and that today's mysteries can be resolved as future evidence comes to light. 

This Abrahamic worldview perceives people as isolated objects, not only from this planet, but each other, even from ourselves.  The other creatures we live with and the landscapes we exist within, are treated with contempt and wanton disregard.

Regarding the “Mind-Body Problem,”  

Dr. Solms makes a wonderful analogy that highlights the error being made:

Question:  Was it the lightning or thunder that killed the golfer?

It’s a meaningless question.

Lightning and thunder are simply different aspects of the same phenomena.

Our Mind and consciousness is the interior reflection of our living body/brain (both its interior happenings and external interaction with the environment).  We simply cannot have one without the other.

©2022, citizenschallenge


We are embedded within an interconnected web of life. We are creatures who are the direct products of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution.  Why isn’t that reflected in modern philosophical discourse? 

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution (3/5)

It took me over sixty years to recognize my Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide perspective which in hindsight seems rather self-evident, after all the "mind-body problem" has been the source of endless philosophical speculation for millennia, I've thought about it since I was a kid, I thought most kids do.

I have been fortunate to have one active critic Write over at CenterForInquiryForum, but he's also frustrating in that too often his bias create assumptions and claims that are straw men, perhaps well meaning, but still too often avoiding what I'm actually trying to enunciate.  

I hope this short bio-sketch that describes the trajectory that brought me to these writings will offer an introduction to help orient readers before embarking on my road less traveled.  (visit CFI Forum if you want to share your ideas, critique.)

©2022, citizenschallenge


Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution


Although I’m a family man, with my share of friends, along with being community-minded, there’s a part of me that rarely fully connects, leaving me with an impression of being on the outside looking in and trying to make sense of the self-destructive impulses that are driving us towards disastrous outcomes.

Over the decades I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to understand what makes my fundamental outlook and instincts so foreign to the general mindset.  It’s only recently, with the hindsight of six decades, and coming off of this “Hoffman Playing Basketball in Zero-gravity project” with all it’s side trips and then discovering the light at the end of the tunnel with Dr. Mark Solms enunciating the outlines of Neuropsychoanalysis and a rational approach to understanding our minds unfolding within our bodies.

A body of work which convincingly demystifies Chalmers’ “Hard Problem” (and all the distracting intellectual mischief that’s given rise to) and points the way to a biological understanding of consciousness.  Neuropsychology and neuropsychoanalysis brings us face to face with the reality that our consciousness is basically the inside reflection of our body/brain interacting with its environment.  Think of it, consciousness as ‘interaction’ not a ‘thing.’

Now there’s something worth chewing on if you’re looking for intellectual or spiritual challenge.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide (2/5)

"Our relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire is rarely examined." 

©2022, citizenschallenge

“Who am I?”  
Children and the learned have been fascinated by that question and the mystery of our sense of “self" since forever.  

David Chalmers formalized some of that wonder with his Hard Problem of Consciousness back around 1995 and philosophers have been having a field day with the notion ever since.*  

The glaring problem with their conceptions and the endless philosophizing is that they rarely truly incorporate the ramifications of Evolution beyond lip service. 

Seems to me as a society our biggest problem is that most are still trapped within the Abrahamic mindset of absolute self-absorption.  A bubble where our own thoughts, perceptions and expectations totally engulf our thinking and leaves no space for explicitly recognizing the physical realities beyond our own immediate desires and thoughts - that unrecognized attitude permeates and shackles our understanding of the world around us.

For all the lectures on the topic, I rarely hear any examination of the relationship between our selves and the knowledge we acquire.  That’s a big problem because it blinds us to Earth's realities and the needs of others, such as this life sustaining biosphere we’re currently destroying as fast as we can.

No grand revelation, a simple observation. 

©citizenschallenge 2022

{* Dr. Mark Solms has done an excellent job of demystifying those notions 
and bringing the source of consciousness back into the realm of biology and real science.}

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Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

I can’t figure out, why it isn’t self-evident to folks that consciousness and mind can’t be understood by studying modern people in these modern times?  Consciousness requires an evolutionary perspective of the natural, biological forces at work.  First producing simple creatures that eventually evolved into aware complex creatures, with branches that eventually evolved into Homo during the last minute+ of Evolution’s 24 hours of Creation, only then into Homo sapiens, a mere 3, 4 seconds ago. 

How does one ponder the human brain and mind without wondering about all the time before Homo?  We evolved out of the mammalian class of animals.  Think about it, the breast-feeding body plan with a lifestyle built around nurturing their young, developing families and even communities.  

Sunday, June 5, 2022

An Alternative Philosophical Perspective: “Earth Centrism” (1/5)

©2022, citizenschallenge

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An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - Earth Centrism.


What is “Earth Centrism”?

    

The Earth Centrist’s perspective acknowledges Earth, her material constituents and physical processes, unfolding one day at a time, as our fundamental touchstone with reality.  We acknowledge Earth and glory in understanding her pageant of Evolution and appreciating how that pageant is reflected within our own body and mind. 

We celebrate the physical fact that humans were created out of Earth's evolving biosphere.  

Science shows us that we belong to the nurturing mammalian branch of one of Earth’s amazing animal kingdoms.  Yet, it’s undeniable that something quite unique happened around six million years ago when certain apes took a wild improbable evolutionary turn.

By and by, besides the marvel of our two hands, we developed two feet and legs, that could stand tall and run for hours, combined with keen eyes and a growing brain that learned rapidly and remembered. 

During this period our brain physically morphed in some significant ways that enabled it to host a profound leap in cognitive information processing, storage and retrieval ability. On the outside hominids learned to make tools, hunt, fish, and select plants, plus they mastered fire for cooking and better living.

On the inside our brains were growing and benefiting from the new super nourishment while human curiosity and adventures started filling and stretching our Mindscapes with experiences, questions, and knowledge beyond anything the "natural" physical Earth ever knew.

By Mindscape, I mean the product of all that our body/brain perceives and processes, which of course, evolutionarily speaking, was dependent on our brain’s hardware keeping pace with and driving the ever increasing volume of information and thoughts.

While the human mind and spirit seem ineffable mysteries, they are also of tremendous consequence and real-world physical power.  They drove our growing ability to study and manipulate our world; to communicate and record our experiences; and to formulate explanations for a world full of mysteries, threats, wonders and dreams.

People learned to think and gossip and paint pictures upon the canvas of cave walls, and even better, upon the canvas of each other’s imaginations.  We’ve been adding to our mind’s awareness and complexity ever since.

Of course, while all this was going on our extraordinary human mind was also beginning to wonder about the ‘Why’ of the world it observed and the difficult, fragile, short lives we were allotted. 

In seeking comfort and answers to unknowable questions it seems inevitable that Gods would inhabit our Mindscape. I suspect inspired by buried memories of being coddled within mom’s protective loving bosom those first couple years of life.

No doubt these “Gods” enabled further successes, though not through super-natural interventions, rather through their ability to form, conform, reform & transform the Mindscapes of the people beginning to congregate. Thus, combining pragmatic civil societal needs with universally felt, but keenly personal questions, fears, and dreams.  

During the middle ages tribal stories, accepted ancient doctrines, and religious “truths” were no longer enough to satisfy our Mindscape’s growing desire for ever better understanding and power over our destinies and the biosphere that sustains us. 

The human mind took another tremendous leap forward in awareness with the Intellectual Enlightenment and the birth of serious disciplined scientific study.  Science’s success was dazzling in its ability to learn about, control and manipulate Earth’s physical resources and to transform entire environments.

Science was so successful that today most believe we are the masters of our world and too many have fallen into the hubristic trap of believing our ever fertile Mindscape is reality itself.  But now I’m digressing, back on point, in summary,

Earth Centrism, is a perspective on our human condition that’s based on the understanding that Earth is our fundamental touchstone with physical reality and that we are creatures made through Earth’s own natural processes.

Earth Centrism comes from appreciating the “Human Mindscape ~ Physical Reality divide.” Which also helps us get a handle on how the paternalistic Abrahamic mindset (that gave birth to three religions), with their self-serving attitudes towards other peoples, creatures, landscapes and resources, imposed a simplistic dualistic default that has blinded humanity to a clear understanding of ourselves, this planet, it’s processes, deep-time and how it created us. 

The Mind/Brain conundrum and the Hard Problem of Consciousness are rooted in ancient religious and philosophical arguments, contrivances of our minds, dressed up in modern language.  As though reality needs to prove itself to us self-serving petty humans.

Earth Centrism is founded on the understanding that scientific study of the material world is our best window into understanding our own lives within physical reality.  Because Science is, at its core, a set of rules for observing and recording and learning about our natural world, and ourselves that strives as much as possible to eliminate human ego driven biases from its deliberations.

Science is founded on an unspoken understanding that we need each other to keep ourselves honest. It’s a community of educated, competitive, skeptical, experts who are constantly looking over each other’s shoulders. With fidelity to honesty being science’s Golden Rule.

I also contend that science offers spiritual/mystical challenges, experiences and resolutions, well beyond anything offered by the traditions of our self-made, ego straddled, religions with their tunnel vision and that ingrained resentment towards Earth and learning. 

Earth Centrism is a personal emergent appreciation.  When the sum total of all those insights one has collected from a life time of wonder and learning come together into a tapestry, a pageant of life and circumstance that is harmonious and graspable. When understanding and increasing awareness blossoms into a visceral connection that infuses one’s body and outlook upon life with the simple reality of being a transient element in Earth’s evolution.

Along with that comes a grounded feeling.  A deep inside awareness that, I have arrived.  I am a child of Earth, and it is beautiful, and this moment is mine.

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©2022, citizenschallenge


An Alternative Philosophical Perspective - “Earth Centrism

Appreciating the Physical Reality ~ Human Mindscape divide

Being an element in Earth’s Pageant of Evolution

It’s not a “Body-Mind problem” it’s an “Ego-God problem

A distillation of my journey upon life's stage, vintage 1955.


©1975, Peter Miesler
June 5, 2022
citizenschallenge at gmail.