Category: Philosophy and Philosophers

Life After Death – Can Quantum Physics Lead To An Answer?

526411-quantum-soul

Mark Twain so famously quoted that we can be sure of two things in life; taxes & death!
403-death-and-taxes
The great Bard William Shakespeare in his play Hamlet portrays death as “the dread of something after death. The undiscovered country, from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will“.

As humans we are aware and cognitive that death exists. Many believe that after physical death, there is another existence that awaits us. Tens of thousands of years ago early hominids such as stone age and Neanderthals buried their dead in graves with items such as food, stone tools etc that served them in life and it was hoped would serve them in the afterlife.

The Ancient Egyptians are the most famous culture to have an all encompassing belief in the after life and made elaborate preparations to ensure that the royal pharaonic spirit ascends to a better plane of existence leading the way for all.
Various pagan religions evolved their own concept of what constituted an afterlife whether good or bad. i.e. the Norse had Valhalla, a great hall where the spirits of heroic warriors ascend to.

Our modern concept of Heaven & Hell has it’s roots in the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Judaism and Christianity absorbed these concepts and in various ways adapted for their faiths.

Christianity introduced a kind of ‘half way house’ after death, it is called Purgatory. It is where the soul(spirit) of a recently deceased person temporarily resides in place of purification or temporary punishment awaiting to ascend to Heaven or descend to Hell after they purge their sins.

Philosophers whether professional or amateur like to debate the big question of what happens after we die. They encompass this with Why Are We Here? Why Do we Exist? Is There any Purpose To Us Being? Whether there is a God or Deity that directs us or not.
We now in the 21st Century look for science to explain all in life and now beyond!
Scientists, physicists and medical doctors are looking more at how are minds work, what is consciousness? How can it be defined be defined?. Does this consciousness survive after our physical bodies die?  What is a soul/spirit?  Does part or all of our consciousness contain a soul or spirit?
Could our consciousness be ‘our’ spirit/soul  in toto and  although somehow separate interact through our physical brain?

Atheists deny such things as an afterlife, heaven etc., or that there is a spirit or soul within us.
To be logical they should separate any religious connotation from the concept of the possibility of another plane of existence after our lives here are ended.  Such an existence may have nothing to do with religious dogma, but be a scientific reality that we are as yet not mentally and technologically advanced enough to discover.
We are on that path now, to be sure. Science is now beginning to seriously looking at these big questions once the exclusive domain of philosophers.

Continuing medical and allied technical innovation can measure and observe more deeply what is happening in our bodies, including the brain, the seat of our consciousness. Doctors are measuring more accurately the point of actual death. Death is measured by diminishing brain activity.  Recently for example,  in mice it was found that some minutes after death there is an increase in brain activity. Scientists/academics are divided on what this means. Whether the brain’s neurons are firing in a final burst before death, or is this activity a precursor to otherwise undetectable activity. Some academics think that this ‘burst’ is only the final farewell of the brain and our minds/consciousness before oblivion.

This activity may also give rise to the well documented Near Death Experiences (NDEs) of some hospital patients recovering from near fatal life threatening accidents, illness etc. These patients from many cultures across the globe recall seeing themselves leaving their physical bodies and looking down on the efforts of medical staff to resuscitate them. some  state that they saw a ‘tunnel’ and travel through it towards a bright light. Near this bright light, some reported  having religious experiences or meeting relatives who have previously died and are there to greet them. The patients are then ‘told’ or urged to return to their life. They wake up recalling vivid details of their experience. Again divided academics come up with theories such as hallucinations of a dying brain triggered by certain chemicals.

Other academics point out that these experiences  are too vivid to be a dream state and many don’t remember their dreams, especially in such detail. Some of the NDE survivors apparently give details  about the event that they could not have known about as they were deeply unconscious. Examples such as witnessing conversations between the resuscitating medical staff  or the unique clothes some were wearing.  Also why are all the experiences consistently similar from world wide NDE survivors?

Are the NDEs proof or indication of the separation of our consciousness from the physical brain at death, or indeed some chemical reaction of a dying brain?
A question would be why such a reaction exists at the point of death? A chemical reaction causing NDE has no survival or life value as other of the brain’s reactions/activities?

This is where an advanced and relatively new branch of science may provide intriguing clues of what happens to us when we die. Quantum Physics can be described as the science of the unusual and strange.

What happens at the subatomic and quantum level is slowly being uncovered layer by layer. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) leads the way in mining to quantum level of particles that make us, our world and universe.

In essence, particles at the quantum level act in strange and diverse ways sometimes  at variance to classical science models. Some particles can simultaneously act on others of their kind that are stretched across the universe! Others particles seem to leap into existence and disappear in a tiny fraction of a second. Where they come from & go to is not known at present. One theory gaining credence, is that a our universe is not alone. Some physicists and theoreticians believe that there are many universes (so called Multiverses) that coexist with ours.

Now some medical doctors and physicists using the uber complicated quantum theories developed by scientific luminaries such as Sir Roger Penrose, are trying to discover what our consciousness may be made up of and even what may happen to it after physical death. Very basically, at a quantum level, our consciousness is thought to  exist in ‘microtubules’ within the brain and interacts with our physical world. At death our quantum level consciousness may ultimately may travel via ‘tunnels’ to another universe or existence.

If this is so, would we be aware of any previous lives?

Hmmm, playing at amateur philosophy! I think that if this quantum related theory is true then  possibly our memories, and experiences of this life remain in a kind of chemical and neuron storage within our living brains, but when we physically die they become lost. However, our consciousness now unfettered from the physical brain & past memories etc., moves on to it’s next life/existence.

With the ever increasing evolution of computers and computing power, scientists predict  that we may in the next decade witness the creation of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Indeed AI may eventually exceed the intelligence of humans. Will this super AI answer the Big Questions in life (and death!)?

Will AI develop a consciousness like humans, or remain algorithmically detached from emotions and such?

I enjoy trying out SIRI  the cool voice interactive  intelligent and knowledge personal assistant and navigator on my iPhone. For fun I asked it “is there life after death?”

After some silence and searching the vastness of the WWW, SIRI stated that “It does not separate silicon from the Soul” 😉
In my favourite comedy sci fi TV series, ‘Red Dwarf’, the android character called ‘Kryton’, stated that he and other robots believed in a ‘Silicon Heaven’.:)
no_silicon_heaven__by_therealsneakers-d45qtvr
The subject of survival post life and quantum physics is a very complex subject to go into detail here and I urge you Dear Reader to ‘Google’ NDEs, Life after Death Quantum physics, there are many fascinating and thought-provoking articles out there on the Web.

Finally, I guess we will never know until we individually make that (hopefully a very long way off!) final journey to that ‘Undiscovered Country’.

Hippocrates

I think the internet is in the top 10 of best inventions of all times.

Thanks to Tim Bernes-Lee, inventor of the worldwide web, almost any information is just a click of a button away.

This morning I suddenly got to thinking of Hippocrates.

Having watched many hospital drama, I am more or less aware of the Hippocratic oath where you have to be respectful of the patient’s life above all else whether he is a friend or a foe, irrespective of what he has done, of his religion or politics etc.

Below is a witty article about the Hippocratic Oath

Jean
……………………………………………..

A guide to the Hippocratic Oath

By Dr Daniel Sokol
Medical ethicist

Hippocrates

Hippocrates: the father of modern medicine?

When I asked my medical students to name famous doctors in the history of medicine, their first answer was Harold Shipman, the GP who murdered hundreds of patients.

I nearly swallowed my tongue.

Their second answer was House, the fictional doctor from the American TV series.

Tears of frustration welled up in my eyes.

Their third answer was Hippocrates, presumed author of the Hippocratic Oath – I breathed a sigh of relief.

Written nearly 2,500 years ago, the Oath is the most famous text in Western medicine, yet most people (including doctors) know precious little about it.

One GP recounted the story of an elderly patient who believed the Oath instructed doctors never to tell patients the truth. It contains no such advice.

Here is a brief guide to the Oath.

The Oath starts: “I swear by Apollo the physician and by Asclepius and Hygieia and Panacea… to bring the following oath to fulfilment.”

Apollo, the god of healing, fell in love with a human, Coronis.

I will use treatments for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from what is to their harm and injustice I will keep them
Hippocratic Oath

In his absence, Apollo sent a white crow to look after her.

When the crow informed Apollo that Coronis loved another man, Apollo’s rage turned the crow black.

To avenge her brother, Apollo’s sister shot Coronis with an arrow and, as she lay dying, Coronis told Apollo that she was bearing his child.

Although Apollo could not save Coronis, he rescued the unborn child, Asclepius.

Hygieia, the goddess of health, and Panacea, the goddess of cures, are the daughters of Asclepius.

According to legend, Hippocrates was a descendant of one of Asclepius’ sons.

Inspiration

Doctors taking the Oath would doubtless have been inspired by this illustrious lineage of healers.

The next section instructs the doctor to treat his teachers as his parents, and to pass on the art of medicine to the next generation of healers.

In a pure and holy way, I will guard my life and my art and science
Hippocratic Oath

The Oath continues: “And I will use treatments for the benefit of the ill in accordance with my ability and my judgment, but from what is to their harm and injustice I will keep them.”

In other words, doctors should act in the best interests of their patients, and when unjust circumstances arise – for instance, a certain life-prolonging drug may not be available on the NHS – they should strive to correct the injustice harming their patients.

The next part seemingly concerns euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide, saying: “And I will not give a drug that is deadly to anyone if asked, nor will I suggest the way to such a counsel.”

Two leading scholars of the Oath, Littre and Miles, have however suggested that this passage alludes to the then common practice of using doctors as skilled political assassins.

Steven Miles notes: “Fear of the physician-poisoner may be traced very close to the time of the Oath.”

The word “euthanasia” (meaning “easeful death”) was only coined a century after the writing of the Oath.

Abortion

The text continues: “And likewise I will not give a woman a destructive pessary.”

This passage is often interpreted as a rejection of abortion.

However, abortion was legal at the time and the text only mentions pessaries (a soaked piece of wool inserted in the vagina to induce abortion), not the oral methods of abortion also used in ancient Greece.

As pessaries could cause lethal infections, the author of the Oath may have had a clinical objection to the method, rather than a moral objection to abortion itself.

The next sentence – “In a pure and holy way, I will guard my life and my art and science” – is a call for professional integrity.

Doctors should refrain from immoral behaviour and resist the temptations that accompany their privileged position (today, from drug companies offering generous gifts, for example).

Surgery

The Oath continues: “I will not cut, and certainly not those suffering from stone, but I will cede this to men who are practitioners of this activity.”

Another common misconception is that the Oath forbids surgery.

About whatever I may see or hear in treatment, or even without treatment, in the life of human beings, I will remain silent, holding such things to be unutterable
Hippocratic Oath

In fact, it instructs doctors to acknowledge the limits of their competence and to refer cases to more specialised practitioners.

Next, the doctor enters the patient’s house: “Into as many houses as I may enter, I will go for the benefit of the ill, while being far from all voluntary and destructive injustice, especially from sexual acts both upon women’s bodies and upon men’s.”

The need for such a statement reflects the wide distrust in healers at the time.

In a competitive marketplace where quacks abounded, it was necessary to reassure the public that doctors would not exploit patients.

Confidentiality

The penultimate section deals with confidentiality and reads: “And about whatever I may see or hear in treatment, or even without treatment, in the life of human beings, I will remain silent, holding such things to be unutterable.”

As today, patients in ancient times shared deeply personal information with doctors on the assumption that their details would not be revealed to others.

Without this trust, patients may withhold facts that would help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

The text ends with the rewards that await those who respect the Oath (“the benefits both of life and of art and science, being held in good repute among all human beings for time eternal”) and the punishment of those who do not (“if, however, I transgress and swear falsely, the opposite of these”).

This whistle-stop tour of the Oath gives some idea of the content and spirit of this ancient text.

In an age of technological developments, cosmetic surgery, complementary medicine, drug companies, and many other temptations for patients and doctors alike, the spirit of the Oath is as relevant as ever.

‱ Dr Daniel Sokol is a medical ethicist at St George’s, University of London, and Director of the Applied Clinical Ethics (ACE) programme at Imperial College, London.

 

 

 

I swear by Apollo the Physician and Asclepius and Hygeia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parent and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art—if they desire to learn it—without fee and covenant; to give share of precepts and oral instruction and all other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but to no one else.

I will apply dietetic measure for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and in holiness I will guard my life and my art.
I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite be my lot.

—Translated by Ludwig Edelstein
…………………………………….
Extreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases.
~Hippocrates
……….
To do nothing is sometimes a good remedy.
~Hippocrates

Thomas Paine, Political Activist

517px-Thomas_Paine_by_Laurent_Dabos-crop

Thomas Paine, Political Activist

Though Thomas Paine was born and raised in Great Britain, he served as a conduit for the Americans to take up arms and demand independence from the Brits. Thomas Paine was on of the founding fathers of the United States.

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
– Thomas Paine

 

It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
~Thomas Paine

The Art of Zen

Zen – School of Enlightenment

 

IMG_0828Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
– His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso
(14th Dalai Lama)
…..

ALL that we are is made up of our thoughts; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with a pure thought, happiness will follow him, like a shadow that never leaves him.
~ Dhammapada.
….
Before enlightenment – chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment – chop wood, carry water.
~Zen Buddhist Proverb
….

Before they become a tangible reality, all phenomena are seeds.  The wise man takes great care of seeds.
– Han Fei Zi

Being conscious of what we really are, that is what we call enlightenment.
– Zen saying

Buddhist Monk reflection in the water - Photo by PH Morton

Buddhist Monk reflection in the water – Photo by PH Morton

Creeds and doctrines are like a raft to carry one to the other shore, and then to relinquish. Neither cling to the raft forever, or reject it when drowning. Even better, become a strong swimmer.
– Diamond Sutra
….
Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark.
– Rabindranath Tagore
…..
Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.
~ Sheng-Yen
….
Gratitude is not a mere word; it is not a mere concept. It is the living breath of your real existence on earth.
– Sri Chinmoy
….
HE who formerly was reckless and afterwards became sober brightens up this world like the moon when freed from clouds.
~ Dhammapada.
…..

I breathe in, and I am a flower.  I breathe out, and I have its freshness.
– Zen Meditation
….

If I know that love is myself and that pain is also myself, that understanding is myself and suffering too, then I will be mindful.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.
– Rabindranath Tagore
….
It is within ourselves that yesterday is distinguished from tomorrow.
– Zen Saying
….

It is our way of seeing the world that determines the nature or our feelings.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

It is virtue which maintains the soundness of mind, the one essential condition for right development.
– Swami Satprakashananda

Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.
~Zen Saying
…..imagesCA24JJA4
Letting go means accepting life just as it is: elusive, free, spontaneous, and without limits.
– Zen

Life is movement and rest.
– Zen saying

zen

 

 

 

Move always toward greater simplicity.
– Zen Practice
…..

No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.
~Zen
…..
One who returns to his nature and adheres to it is worthy.
– Chou Tun-i
….
One’s truly basic act is to sit on the ground, assume a correct posture and cultivate the feeling of having one’s own space.
– Chogyam Trungpa

….
zen 1
Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
– Zen Saying
…..
Strive for detachment, concentrate in silence, conform to the nature of things, be without ego. Then mankind will be at peace.
– Chuang Tzu
…..
The cosmos is everything: the stones, the mountains, the trees, the flowers, the grasses, the stars… all that is nature and all that is not nature, the artificial and all products that are human, material and spiritual, and space and time.
– Dogen Zenji
…..
The One and the All.
Mingle and move without discriminating. Live in this awareness and you’ll stop worrying about not being perfect.
– Seng Tsan
…..
The dark thought, the shame, the malice meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
– Djalal Ad-Din Rumi
….
The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.
~Zen Saying

DSCN0412

The Nature of Buddha, Photo by PH Morton

——
The source of human suffering is that everyone chooses one side and refuses to see the other side.
~ Liou Kia-Hway
——
The essence of love and compassion is understanding.
– Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnamese Buddhist monk)

The obstacle is the path.
~Zen Proverb

…..

There is nothing else you can do but burst out laughing.
– Zen Saying

….
Think of the places, where you plant your feet.
– Zen Dojos
….
True enlightenment means rejoicing in the happiness of others:  compassion appears.
– Taisen Deshimaru

DSCN1625

Graceful of Weeping Willow, Photo by PH Morton

…..

Through meditation, we practice resurrection in every moment.  This is the practice of living in the everyday.  We must not lose ourselves in the past or in the future.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
…..
To know the Way is to know where to go and how to get there.
– Tseng Tzu
…..
Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.
– Patanjali
…..
Walking is Zen.
Sitting, too, is Zen.
If I speak or am silent, tarry or hasten:
Everything, in its true nature,
Is stillness,
– The Shodoka
….
We have two eyes to see two sides of things, but there must be a third eye which see everything at the same time and yet not see anything.  That is to understand Zen.
– D T Suzuki
….
Wisdom, indeed, is the highest ornament that a man possesses. It is a valuable to be carefully guarded.
– Bhartrihari
….
zen 3
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind.
– Shakyamuni
….
When one who is lost understands that he must turn back, he is not far from having found the Way.
– Zen Saying
….

When the student is ready, the master appears.
~Buddhist Proverb
…..
When you get there, there isn’t any there there.
~Zen Proverb
…..
When you have a problem, see if you can find out for yourself why you have a problem.
– Shunryu Suzuki
imagesCAKEP8L4……
when the body is kept bustling about without stop, it becomes fatigued.
When the mind is overworked without stop, it becomes worried, and worry causes exhaustion.
The nature of water is that it becomes clear when left alone and become still when undisturbed.
It is the symbol of heavenly virtue.
Chuang Tse
……

When you hear the splash of the water drops that fall into the stone bowl, You will feel that all the dust of your mind is washed away.
– Sen No Rikyu
….
Wherever you choose to be mindful, you may acquire wisdom.
– Ajahn Chah
….
We must learn to love the man who differs from us in opinion.
– Swami Vivekananda
….
We need to recognize that everybody in the world is the benefactor of everybody else.
– Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
….
You’re bound to become a Buddha if you practice. If water drips long enough even rocks wear through.
~ Shih-Wu

Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)

osho

Who is Osho?

A professor of philosophy, he travelled throughout India during the 1960s as a public speaker. His outspoken criticism of socialism, Mahatma Gandhi and institutionalised religion made him controversial. He advocated a more-open attitude towards sexuality, a stance which earned him the sobriquet of “sex guru” in the Indian and (later) international press.

———-

It seems Osho was a really interesting character. LOL.  He lived a rather controversial life by all accounts. Involved in free love and even dabbled in bioterror attack.

Towards the end of his life, at 58, he was virtually a refugee with countries refusing him entry.

Fast forward NOW, many believe that OSHO is the greatest spiritual leader of the 20th century.

How perception changes from time to time.

…………………………………………………..

“Be — don’t try to become”
― Osho
(With just a few words, Osho was able to say a lot and so meaningful too.)

“Experience life in all possible ways
good-bad, bitter-sweet, dark-light,
summer-winter. Experience all the dualities.
Don’t be afraid of experience, because
the more experience you have, the more
mature you become.”
― Osho

“I want every individual to have his ownreligion–in other words his own lifestyle,his own philosophy–and to live according to his own deepening insight.”
~Osho

osho

Epicurus

 

220px-Epicurus_bust2

For Epicurus (Ancient Greek Philosopher 341-270 BC), the purpose of philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by ataraxia—peace and freedom from fear—and aponia—the absence of pain—and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil; death is the end of both body and soul and should therefore not be feared; the gods do not reward or punish humans; the universe is infinite and eternal; and events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space.

 

 

 

Epicureanism 

A beneficent person is like a fountain watering the earth, and spreading fertility; it is, therefore, more delightful and more honorable to give than receive.
—Epicurus.
……..
Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
– Epicurus

““““`
It is folly for a man to pray to the gods for that which he has the power to obtain by himself.
~Epicurus
~~~~~~~~~
The art of living well and the art of dying well are one.
– Epicurus
…..
The kindest benefactors have no recollection of the good they do, and are surprised when men thank them for it.
– Epicurus
…..
Vain is the word of a philosopher which does not heal any suffering of man. For just as there is no profit in medicine if it does not expel the diseases of the body, so there is no profit in philosophy either, if it does not expel the suffering of the mind.
– Epicurus
…..
“We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their help in need.”
— Epicurus

…..

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.
– Epicurus

Michel de Montaigne – The Essayist

Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne

Michel de Montaigne

Michel Eyquem de Montaigne ( 28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592) was one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre

At table, I prefer the witty to the grave; in bed, beauty before goodness; and in common discourse, eloquence, whether or no there be sincerity.
– Montaigne
………………………………………………….
Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.
– Montaigne

Of all our infirmities, the most savage is to despise our being.
~ Michel de Montaigne

(I can relate to the above. There was a time not long ago when I hated myself, I loathed my complacency, I despised my vanity, I hated my weakness, I hated my stupidity or rather gullibility. I hated that I trusted so much.  Self-loathing eats at you and it can get out and leave you without confidence.)

……

The concern that some women show at the absence of their husbands, does not arise from their not seeing them and being with them, but from their apprehension that their husbands are enjoying pleasures in which they do not participate, and which, from their being at a distance, they have not the power of interrupting.
~Michel de Montaigne
……
The mind is a dangerous weapon, even to the possessor, if he knows not discreetly how to use it.
– Montaigne
……
The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose.
– Montaigne

Quoting William James

463px-William_James_b1842cWilliam James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the “Father of American psychology” – Wikipedia

He was acclaimed for his study of the psychology of religion; he was the leader of the Pragmatist school of Philosophy.

William James is the brother of Alice James and Henry James.

What Dr James said:
An unlearned carpenter of my acquaintance once said in my hearing: “There is very little difference between one man and another, but what there is is very important.
– William James
…..
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
– William James
…..
BELIEVE THAT LIFE IS WORTH LIVING AND YOUR BELIEF WILL HELP CREATE THE FACT!
– William James

Footnotes, the little dogs yapping at the heel of the text.
– William Jjames_william-19840531003R_2_png_300x650_q85ames
……..
Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
– William James
….

Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent.  It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprising of the poor.
– William James

In most of us, by the age of 30, the character has set like plaster and will never soften again.
– William James

It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.
– William James

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude.
– William James

Thought of the Day


The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
– William James

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
– William James
….
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work , are subjects of express volitional deliberation.
– William James

The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.
~William James
Thought of the Day
31 July 2013


There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
– William James

Paul Valéry Quotes

83

Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules ValĂ©ry (French, 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. His interests were sufficiently broad that he can be classified as a polymath. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues), his interests included aphorisms on art, history, letters, music, and current events. (Wikipedia)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paul Valéry Quotes

Advertising has annihilated the power of the most powerful adjectives.
– Paul Valery
…..
A man who is “of sound mind” is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
~Paul Valéry
……
An artist never really finishes his work; he merely abandons it.
~Paul Valéry

……

Love is being stupid together.
– Paul Valery

Power without abuse loses its charm.
– Paul Valery

 

Sir Francis Bacon & Scientific Method

Sir-Francis-Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon

Sir Francis Bacon & the Scientific Revolution

Sir Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban, Kt.KC (22 January 1561 â€“ 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. After his death, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during the scientific revolution.

Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism.

Wikipedia

Francis Bacon died from pneumonia caught from stuffing chicken with snow as part of an experiment.  He died for his art or SCIENCE!

—————————————————————————————————————–
Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.
– Francis Bacon

A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.
– Bacon
………………
A principal fruit of friendship is the ease and discharge of the fullness and swelling of the heart, which passions of all kinds do cause and induce. No receipt openeth the heart but a true friend, to whom you may impart griefs, joys, fears, hopes, suspicions, counsels, and whatsoever lieth upon the heart to oppress it, in a kind of civil shrift or confession.
—Bacon.
………………..
Entertain hopes; mirth rather than joy; variety of delights, rather than surfeit of them: wonder and admiration, and therefore novelties; studies that fill the mind with splendid and illustrious objects, as histories, fables and the contemplations of nature.
– Francis Bacon
…………………
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave.
—Bacon.
………………..

Houses are built to live in more than to look on; therefore let use be preferred before uniformity, except where both may be had.
—Bacon.
………………..
Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.
– Bacon

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.
~Francis Bacon
………………..
I had rather believe all the fables in the legends and the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.
– Bacon
………………..
I have as vast contemplative ends, as I have moderate civil ends; for I have taken all knowledge to be my province.
– F Bacon

It is a pleasure to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to standing upon the vantage ground of truth.
– F. Bacon

“Knowledge is power.”
-Francis Bacon
………………..
Love is the only passion that justifies a perpetual hyperbole, i. e., poetic exaggeration.
—Bacon.
………………..
Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.
– Francis Bacon
………………
Mathematic is either Pure or Mixed: To Pure Mathematic belong those sciences which handle Quantity entirely severed from matter and from axioms of natural philosophy. These are two, Geometry and Arithmetic; the one handling quantity continued, the other dissevered…. Mixed Mathematic has for its subject some axioms and parts of natural philosophy, and considers quantity in so far as it assists to explain, demonstrate and actuate these.
— Bacon, Francis
….
Many persons I once thought great, dwindle into very small dimensions, on a short acquaintance.
—Bacon.
….
Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other.
– Bacon
…….
No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.
– Bacon

Our humanity were a poor thing, but for the Divinity that stirs within us.
— Bacon.
……
Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.
– Bacon
……
Riches are a good handmaid, but the worst mistress.
– Bacon

Silence is the virtue of fools.
– Bacon

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”
~Sir Francis Bacon
….
There is a wisdom in this beyond the rules of physic. A man’s own observation, what he finds good of and what he finds hurt of, is the best physic to preserve health.
– Bacon
….
The remedy is worse than the disease.
– Bacon
….
The less people speak of their greatness the more we think of it.
— Bacon
….
The inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it, the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it, and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it, is the sovereign good of human nature.
– F Bacon

Universities incline wits to sophistry and affectation.
– Bacon

Virtue is like precious odours,—most fragrant when they are incensed or crushed.
– Bacon
…..
Wives are young men’s mistresses, companions for middle age, and old men’s nurses.
– Bacon