So, before we get too far into the various implications of what depth science is, let’s go to first principles for a moment.

In mainstream science, the bias is usually a kind if naive materialism, empiricism or pseudo Aristotelian sense bias, depending how you look at it. In any case, the upshot is, that everything proceeds from the notion that objective reality, ( as in capable of being made an object of the five external senses) is fundamental, and all else is secondary to this.

Now, I could simply tell you that this kind of naive materialism hasn’t got a leg to stand on, but it’s more fun to roll out uncle ken again, and let him explain why.

Fair enough? So regardless of which tradition you approach it from, they all tend to arrive at the same thing. The only truly irreducible, incontestable foundation for reality is not in fact the senses, or matter, or anything that is apprehended by consciousness. It is only consciousness itself that cannot be detached from, doubted or deconstructed through skepticism. You may discard whatever you like, but not your own presence in the act of discarding.

It is not awareness of things that is primary, but awareness itself. And by pretending not to see this, science has created the insoluble paradoxes of quantum mechanics and whatnot. The first rule of every experiment is simple: train the instrument. And because science has typically left consciousness at the door, the backlog of confused conclusions has finally gotten to the point where they cannot help but let mystics in through the side door.

Because they will not train their primary instrument ( in many cases they will deny that there is in fact, any such instrument as ‘consciousness’ ) , the whole edifice is on shaky ground. They are reduced to simply one more superstitious school of ‘results magick’ whose understanding is built on sand. Surely one need look no further than superstrings, m-theory, and the one free miracle of the big bang, to see this.

So let it down, already, I say. Admit that consciousness is primary. Build your enterprise on sound footing, before it all crumbles in your hands. And for the newcomers: don’t be ashamed of your contemplation, meditation, and inner journeys. It is science as surely as anything is, provided you’ve constituted it properly, in the ways we’ve spoken of.
Just training the instrument, right?


9 thoughts on “The Depth Scientists Union: consciousness, therefore being

  1. Well said, succinct, and so obvious it’s amazing that seven eighths of the planet can’t realize this!

    “one need look no further than superstrings, m-theory, and the one free miracle of the big bang”–exactly, exactly. Someone pointed out that string theory and “artificial intelligence” (as in Kurzweil, not the way your cell phone learns then auto-suggests new words you put into text messages) both resemble religion or more accurately pseudo-science more than science, positing a conclusion first then working backwards and interpreting results to fit the conclusions. String theory, e.g., has yet to really generate a meaningful experiment to test itself, putting it on even shakier ground that quantum physics.

    It’s a shame that Ken Wilber has focused so much on getting his creepy cult-publishing empire founded, because he really is one of the most insightful thinkers, when he isn’t busy defining microlevels to his AQAL maps in a manner stranger reminiscent of Elron’s OT levels, though the Wilbernator is clearly on the light side of the force… to each his own.

  2. Excellent thread.

    You can’t prove the validity of scientific method, because to do so you’d have to assume the validity of scientific method, which would be self-defeating. Science flows from a higher metaphysics.

    I came across that thought at University. It hasn’t stopped me being a scientist. In fact it make it more interesting.

    There’s lots of examples of this when you start looking. One of the classics is touched on by Pirsig in ‘Zen and the Art of …’ when he goes on about not knowing where hypotheses come from. There are others.

  3. This problem of failing to take consciousness into account doesn’t only lay with science. It is a situation found all over the place – and is a prime reason why we have so many problems in our culture – as people act without any awareness of where they are coming from. It’s almost like walking on quicksand.

    As you said – meditation and inner journey’s are a valid scientific endeavor within themselves. I would almost go as far to say that any practitioner of science should need to understand at least the basics of this – as they themselves are the measuring instruments.

    It’s time society paused for a break and took a long hard look at awareness:

  4. haha! I am the electric spider monkey, trailing my gossamer skeins across the arrant interstices of the cybernet.

    Let’s see… and this one goes.. here:

    Best quotes:

    “In my experience it sometimes doesn’t matter very much if you believe in the literal, objective existence of the Deity or not. You might have decided that you’re working with archetypes or “godforms,” but They may well choose to come out and be real at you anyway. They’re older than you, and have had considerably more practice in being real than you have had in not believing in Them.”


    “If I had to sum up my own approach to evaluating my practice in a single phrase, that phrase would be “what if this was all a load of bollocks?” What if I were to wake up and realise that the whole thing, the full spectrum of my magical and spiritual experience, was a delusion? Would I still be reasonably happy about the resources expended in light of the overall impact on my life, my character, the way I relate to the world? If you cannot look at your progress and say “I am stronger, wiser, more loving, and overall a more effective person than I was when I got into this shit,” then you need sort it out or chuck it out. If you can, then have at it and good luck to you. It’s really that simple.”

  5. Hello, I’m studying mathematical physics at grad level, and I have to say I agree with your sentiment. It’s a matter of garbage in, garbage out. So many scientists out there are completely blind to the fact that they’re world view is based on axioms they take on faith, while at the same time they’re bashing on mystics and religion.

  6. Found this because of Jerome’s post, and I’m glad I did, as it ties directly into something I’ve been thinking about recently. It starts with Bruce Lee’s idea of “the art of fighting without fighting,” that is, engaging in the actual fight without the objective form of “fighting” getting in the way.

    What I’ve been thinking about is a sort of “Science of without science.” You remove science’s objective bias, and use the methods of science within your own subjective experience. Instead of experimenting to find results that are repeatable by anyone at any time, instead, you focus on the way consciousness (as it manifests in you) is able to interact with form. You are using with your ego, your “self”, to experiment with reality (which, as Wilber points out, you eventually realize they are actually one and the same thing).

  7. well, to be fair to mainstream scientists, they don’t really know what they mean when they bash mysticism and religion. they probably still think we’re talking about the old man on the throne. they need to read proclus’s elements of theology or something… I was pleased to recently see that the cabal of high profile athiests ( dennet dawkins hitchens et al ) don’t disallow the experience of the numinous, just the exclusive identification of it with mythological religion.

  8. As I understand it, atheists or mainstream scientists are just producing bunch of easy/obvious answers, I’ve yet to see any atheist attack religion or mysticism in a way that shows they truly understand it. They aren’t attacking religion, they are attacking pop religion where people do casually believe in an old man on a throne or something similar.

    I don’t see that the religious bashing people are really bashing the ideas/realities of people we see on comment threads like these, it’s more about bashing the religious ideas of the common religious person since they have no deeper understanding of religion then that to bash, the surface of religion they’ve seen since they were born, I mean, how can they possibly be bashing anything else if they know of nothing else in terms of religion?

  9. You’re right, if these people had any idea of real religious experience, they wouldn’t need to attack it in it’s pop-culture form. Their problem is that they see it as dangerous (and rightly so, with all the religious wars and misplaced righteousness).

    They want to do something, so they point out the obvious logical fallacies of pop-religion. And they give lip service to a “numinous experience”, but leave it up to other people to find out what that means. They’ve found their god in science, and they’re happy with that.

    What they’re refusing to see (because it undermines their whole scientific faith) is that people aren’t religious because it’s logical. People need security, and obviously they’re not finding it in science. Science has been around long enough that it would have killed off irrationality, if it could.

    But these scientists can’t recognize the spiritual dimension, because spirit takes into account the subjective and personal, which science cannot. Hence my earlier post on the science-of-no-science, a sort of rational subjectivity, in a sense.

    A good debate with one of these mainstream science types and an intelligent supporter of religion type can be seen here:

    Good points all around, but no one side has all the answers. One spoke does not make a wheel… And mankind’s struggle with the religious has always been to find a way to share the numinous with others. Cause if you divorce it from the subjective, it’s gone. “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.”

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