Scientific Research & Self-Development Activism
I already posted this as an answer to an other topic, so I'll just paste it in here because the topic got lost and I think it is VITAL to think about the origin of knowledge when it comes to self-dev!:
True knowledge is equal to knowledge about truth, as far as we can ever possibly approach truth...
I think that there are two different ways to gain “knowledge” but only one to gain “True Knowledge”!:
1. You get told by someone else about what he experienced or what he has been told by an other one about his experience or what that guy has experienced or what an other guy.... and so on....however, you will never know whether it's true or false, you can only try to maximize the chance by statistic.
2. You experience something for yourself (like an falling apple, a sound/noise, or images and logic in your mind) this however is the only way to really gain TRUE KNOWLEDGE which can be TRUST! By the first method you never KNOW whether it might be true or not.
Experience itself is always based on ALL THAT IS, meaning full truth as far as we can approach it.
No matter if
-we have intellectual knowledge in terms of science, theories and models about that Truth or not.
-we do not yet have the technical or spiritual capabilities to be able to experience any given truth.
(A scientist for example, would not be able to experience(though visual-perception ofc) a “truth”, reviled by his measurement-instrument which he needs to expand his perception of the outer world, if he wouldn't have that instrument.)
That's also why I prefer Indian philosophy above Greek philosophy.The experience-source from which knowledge can be derived are for the greek philosophers: the experience of life, meaning what they experienced through their five senses, plus the experience of their logic, meaning thoughts, meaning mind.
In India however, they have a long tradition of training to experience only the stillness, the void, the pure nothingness of zero not zero(meaning there is still experience but no object of experience expect the experience of the experiencor itself, because experience is still there. Like the state of meditation when you have detracted all of your awareness from your senses and have a tranquill mind.
So the "experience-pool" from which knowledge about truth can be derived can be expanded through many diffrent ways and techniques which have been found by all civilizations through a long time.
People say that everything that can not be verified though scientific experiments can NEVER be KNOWN. Like for example Agnostics who go simply:"I can not smell, touch, taste, hear, or see anything more than that so I don't bother with more that that"-mode and limit all their possible knowledge sources to sense-experience and talk.
Even them have to admit in my opinion, that the KNOWLEDGE, that a human brain for example, is capable of "seeing" an apple, when the eyes are closed and if it's a working brain which has seen an apple before, can NOT be proven by experiments through sense-perception, but only by the experiment which everyone with those properties can do for himself and that way derive this knowledge from his own experience.
But they just ignore(because their mind is so busy with thoughts about past, future, plans, dreams, desires, fears) that there is also stillness that can be learned to be experienced and the feeling of real love which can be felt.
If one adopts ones lifestyle(like environment, stress factor, eating habits, and activities) and/or practices contemplative practices(like deep prayer, meditation, special sport-masteries with high level of concentration like old, traditional martial arts for example), one can learn to find another pool of experience from which knowledge can be derived.
This knowledge however can never be proven to others by experiments which work through sense-perception, but only by enabeling the other one to make the experience himself! Only by instructions, techniques and teachings.
Just as you would show an inuit an apple and tell him then to imagine it, to "prove" to him that the human brain is capable of "seeing" an apple with closed eyes.
The capability of how much of truth can be experienced is only limited by ones ignorance. Meaning, limited only by ones laziness to really WANT find out, and consider and try many different ways (without categorically dismissing some of them), starting with the most appealing one, using common sense and observation of others who go that way already.
If one discards many thousand years of “talk”(you know what I mean, religious-, and native traditions, and stories and scriptures, near-death experiences and so on...), for example then one is just IGNORANT! And too LAZY to actually try to reproduce the experiments, by applying the given experimental setup, meaning living conditions and/or teachings and/or techniques.
One should never ever BELIEVE such things but rather search for techniques and teachings so that one can review, test, and check whether there is truth in them or not, by OWN EXPERIENCE!
What do you guys think?
Here's my take on this without typing up an entire paper.
1) There is absolutely no such thing as truth that we can define, being that it can be contradictory and is absolutely relative in every single case in every way possible.
2) Knowledge you gain on a personal level through experience or logic is extremely prone to unintentional ignorance, being that your self thought logic or assumed understanding of an event is not being reflected or related to another view point.
3) It is not possible to test every single theory and philosophy by one person in one life time. We have no choice but to trust the books and literature we read that describes such viewpoints to be true to their original aspects. Hence the term the victor rights the history books, we have no way to judge whether certain philosophies and histories were true to their original sense or not.
A good example of this is Socrates and the bible. We don't have his teachings, we have his students "account" of his teachings and debates. And we don't have the "bible", we have a translation of related events found from different scrolls put together by a non related person.
Well ofc you can say there is "no such thing as truth that we can define"
I am not talking about truth which you can prove to someone else in way of "haha I was right and you were wrong"
I am talking about that "Truth" that you EXIST, for example!
Isn't that some truth which everyone(who does exist ofc xD) has to find to be "True in an absolute sense" ?
Again in your second point your are talking about truth about objects of reality. I am talking about truth in an absolute sense, meaning about reality itself!
3) becuase of that, one has to, first of all read, listent and observe and then try the first, while doing so, read, listent and observe, if that doesn't look to be going somewhere, pick the next one....
Don't pick randomly but by COMMON SENSE!
(for me for example, I say, the older a tradition, and still practiced successfully, the more likely it is that there is something to it... and so on)
What you say in the end, is exactly what I mean! one HAS to use common sense! So one should not pick something which has been told and told over a long time because for things like that, it is likely that they have been falsified over time ....
to the first half of your comments: The absence of truth due to relativity also stands for ideas on existence itself. We have no way of proving more than one of us exists or not to begin with.
and to answer 3) Picking and choosing by your standards would be hypoocritical to your original statement. To judge whether one philosophy is better or more logical than another is just as ignorant as calling it a waste of time. To do as you have said you would have to take the time to study and compare every philosophy you can find with every other one, which is just not reasonable for one man.
I'm not saying you are doing something wrong, because we are FORCED to choose due to our short lives, but it still requires us to pick and chose in an ignorant manner.
Well, I have to agree!
But the main point, I am trying to bring across is that it is even more ignorant to only look into materialistic world-views and philosophies and ignore all spiritual ones, with the false excuse that these can NOT be proven! I try to explain that there IS prove(provided one follows the experimental setup), but not through senseperception ;)
Also, if you truly look into the eyes of all the people in our materialistic society, one can see huge pain in most of them (also in the ones, who are "successfull" meaning who have a lot of money and/or power and/or sex and/or fame)