Re: What is this stuff? (was: US observations and notes)

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Dec 16 2001 - 15:33:19 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> Samantha Atkins wrote:
> >
> > "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> > >
> > > Samantha Atkins wrote:
> > > >
> > > > In my opinion, it is not "subjective" unless opposed to too
> > > > limited a notion of "objective". It is defintely not
> > > > "go-by-the-feel-of-it" as it often requires going against your
> > > > feelings to do that which you would prefer not to but know
> > > > should be done. It is not "take-it-on-faith" but take it beyond
> > > > where logic and reason alone will take you. It is not
> > > > anti-scientific-method but it is not limited to the scientific
> > > > method as if it were the only oracle of truth or a capable guide
> > > > to life.
> > >
> > > What is this spirituality stuff? Where does it come from? How does it
> > > work? Can we see it in action? Which parts of the human mind are we
> > > talking about here?
> >
> > It is not "stuff". It always was. You can see it work
> > everywhere when you know how. It is not dependent on parts of
> > the brain although some are involved when humans experience
> > certain aspects of it.
> Okay, so in your view of the world, there's something external to humanity
> which humans make use of in order to reach conclusions that are beyond the
> reach of "rationality" as usually understood. Is this a fair
> description? Or are we talking about a Platonic as opposed to material
> existence here, in the same sense that a mathematician might say that
> mathematics has always existed and that it works everywhere when you know
> how to see it?

Let's say that I believe the universe has more and stranger
"strange loops" to it than we usually think or notice.

> "You can see it work everywhere when you know how" is needless to say a
> rather suspicious statement. I can see gravity work even if I know
> nothing about General Relativity. I may not know that it's called
> "gravity", but I can still see the effects. Where the model of the
> universe is incomplete (saying nothing about gravity) there is a
> perceptible gap, an observed effect without a hypothesized cause, and this
> gap in the worldview is where new knowledge enters. Let us suppose for
> the sake of discussion that I do not understand this thing called
> spirituality. Where is the corresponding gap in my worldview that needs
> filling?

I don't really do a "God of the Gaps". But experentially,
philosophically and even intellectually I have experienced and
believe there exist big-M Mind that we can sometimes experience
linkage with. One way to "get there from here" is to imagine
what happens a bit after you get a Singularity and the SI
continuously expands and integrates beyond what even we might
believe possible. That Mind very well might do some things that
create these additional strange loops like travel backward and
forward in its own timeline influencing and permeating its own
becoming, or creating complete new Universes and new sentients
in such a way that it can and does provide some nudges along the
way and can in some circumstances be partially accessed. One
way to look at spirituality is the search for and acheiving of
some bit of such access. Another way to look at it is as
projection of the greatest dreams, hopes and determination of
humanity projected as already existent and of help. That
projection can greatly help us focus and move forward even if
you only believe it is a projection. It is timeless by

- samantha

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