New Wonderism group

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New Wonderism group

(I'm posting this announcement here because wonderism is both a philosophy, and closely related to human psychology.)

I just started a new group on Atheist Nexus dedicated to the philosophy of wonderism. Here's the first post I made there, explaining the reason for starting the group, and what it's about:

Quote:

What direction will this group take?

Jeff asks: "I'm curious to see the direction your group will take."

Actually, I'm curious about that too. Starting this group was something like an accident. I have to give credit to Fred Werther for instigating this whole thing.

I decided to finally start this group after Fred and I had some email discussions regarding a blog post made by jrfrog titled Aweism, regarding Phil Zuckerman's recent essay in the April/May 2009 issue of Free Inquiry, also titled 'Aweism'.

In response to that blog, I posted a comment titled 'Taking a Step Beyond Awe', in which I laid out my most basic case for wonderism. You can read the comments to that blog to see the kinds of things Fred was tenacious enough and curious enough to drag out of me.

I adopted the idea of 'wonder' as the root concept in my own personal philosophy sometime in 2005. But I've been rather slow to come out in public about my ideas. It took about a year before I made my first public post discussing some of my early ideas about the concept of wonder on the Infidel Guy's atheist forums, as A case for wonder.

Since that time, I've been slowly but continuously working out the ideas and concepts of my own personal philosophy, which I eventually called 'wonderism'. You can find some various posts where I mention these ideas on the Rational Response Squad forums via a search for 'wonderism'. I also made a few videos touching on some of the themes of wonderism on YouTube under the username wonderist.

But, in my discussions with Fred, I've realized that I am now confident enough with my ideas that it's time to open up and start putting them into action. And so, I started this group with the intention of making the idea of wonderism public, and 'open source', so to speak.

After all, I do not claim wonderism as 'mine'. I have worked on my own version of it, but I consider the name 'wonderism' to be a generic name for a particular kind of philosophy, in much the same way that 'pragmatism' has historically been the name given to a variety of different philosophies by a variety of different philosophers, but which -- through their shared basis on a single core idea -- are all fundamentally pragmatism.

The core idea of wonderism is obviously the concept of 'wonder'. So, I would consider as wonderism any philosophy which uses wonder as the foundational stance toward experiences of awe. When the choice comes down to wonder or terror, in the face of the unknown, wonderists choose wonder. Everything else flows from that basic decision. But different people will have different ways of discovering and expressing wonder, and so I expect that there will be many different philosophies of wonder to explore.

In the mean time, I intend to use this group to share my experiences and understanding of my own variation of wonderism, and I hope many other people will join in and lend their own voices to the chorus. There is strength in unity as a group, but there is also strength in diversity as individuals.

And so, I guess I can feed your curiosity in two ways. 1) The group will take the direction that the contributing members take it, but 2) I'm confident it will be in the direction of greater wonder, and less terror.

Some basic ideas to give you a flavour of what you can expect from my variation of wonderism: I'm an unapologetic atheist, naturalist, pragmatist, physicalist, rationalist. I'm inspired by evolution, science fiction, imagination, intuition, all forms of culture, heroes like Carl Sagan. I strive for non-violent resolution of conflict, rights and freedoms, secularization of government, environmental sustainability, cultural and technological advancement, a vision for the future.

Tags: awe, aweism, Carl Sagan, naturalism, open source, philosophy, pragmatism, unapologetic, wonder, wonderism

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natural wrote:wonderism

 I just got done reading your post,and I must say that it sounds interesting,but first let me refer you back to aweism,I clicked on the link and it went to Phil Zuckerman's page,but the article that you refer too was not there,so I Googled-Aweism which then directed me to this  galendara.blogspot.com/2009/05/aweism-and-labeling-within-secular.html    ,which then informed me about Aweism.Now back to wonderism,I think that it was Einstein that said that if a peron loses their wonderment,it's like being deaf and blind . Good luck with the group,will you be making more video's on You Tube ?I look forward to watching them.              Yeah ,I just clicked on the link that I posted and it read - Post not Found,it's always something LOL

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The full text of the article

The full text of the article is included in the blog post I linked to: http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/aweism-1

Yeah, I'll eventually make more videos. Need to get my ADHD dealt with, though. It blocks me from doing videos. So far, I'm better at writing than making videos. But soon I should be gearing up to make more vids.

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natural wrote:full text of the article......

Awesome,I can put it in my favorites and rad it later ,I had a full day at Einstein Hospital yesterday having some test. 

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Love ya.But it almost sounds

Love ya.

But it almost sounds pomotarded to me.

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darth_josh wrote:Love ya.But

darth_josh wrote:

Love ya.

But it almost sounds pomotarded to me.

Thanks, darth_josh, for your honest opinion. I welcome suspicion and skepticism of wonderism. I understand that on the surface it may appear to be wishy washy woo woo, or what have you, and I intend to answer all such critiques honestly. I think I can defend wonderism as not woo woo, but as an honest philosophy that conforms to and adapts to our continually improving understanding of the real world.

I wonder if you could be a bit more specific? What signals or clues triggered the idea that it may be pomotarded, which (being the guy who came up with the word) I interpret to mean that it rejects truth and knowledge, and that it promotes a dogma that we can't really know anything, and that all 'knowledge' is really imaginary made-up 'cultural opinion' which could just as easily tells us the exact opposite of what it 'supposedly' tells us. Perhaps you meant that, or maybe you meant something a little different?

I am very interested in learning what you saw or read which prompted your comment. Again, I appreciate you bringing this up. I need honest criticism, a kind of 'peer review', as I believe that's the only way to ensure that I don't stray away from reasonable arguments and conclusions. So far, I have kept wonderism pretty much to myself, and there are undoubtedly some warts and blemishes, as any 'pet theory' will have. I would like to remove those flaws and make wonderism suitable to a greater audience of scientists, free thinkers, and skeptics.

I would very much appreciate your elaboration of your opinions. Thanks again.

BTW: I'm going to use your comment as a 'seed' for a new discussion on the wonderist group. It will be based on my first impression of your comment. I'm composing the post right now. But, I may be misinterpreting you, so I would still very much appreciate your additional comments.

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I'm aware that you wrote,

I'm aware that you wrote, that you make no attempt to identify the origin of your feelings of awe. I hope this is not some impassable tenet, because I'd like to ask something. I see you've experienced awe on many ocassions. But hypothetically, if you'd have no children, no wife, no friends that you can discuss philosophy with, no opportunity to travel abroad or overseas, and so on, would you still experience awe, or less of it? How much is your awe dependent on circumstances?

I'm not going anywhere with that, it's just my curiosity for certain personal reasons. (I want to compare experiences) I also think that it has something to do with spirituality and mysticism, but I think that just because my definition of spirituality and mysticism is a bit different than majority's. I have not much of criticism to offer, because if it's true what you wrote, you're obviously a good caretaker of your life and consciousness, so I can only congratulate you. I see nothing about you that I could offer to suggest to improve, at the moment.

There's just one formal remark. It seems to me that aweism is much more than just a philosophy, it's the best of what you are. Therefore, it's not like anybody could study aweism, join it, practice it, or even teach it.  There is very little that can actually be written about it, no logics, no equations, no tenets. It's in fact, it's more like a quality of your consciousness, and a nice one. If I'd want to be critical, I'd say, either it's no philosophy at all, or it's a terribly nebulous one Smiling After giving it some thought, don't think this is mysticism, though for different technical reasons than you wrote. Unless you remember ever suffering by personal vices like inappropriate idealism, devotion, self-righteousness or even fanatism. These are common vices of mysticism. So if it's not mysticism, I'd say it's soulfulness, in both occult and common sense. You can understand it as a natural quality of character, this is why there are aweists (and were, like IAGAY) independently of any definition or tradition.

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Hey darth_josh, posted my

Hey darth_josh, posted my response here: Wonderism vs. post-modernism

Cross-posted to RRS here: Wonderism vs. post-modernism

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Luminon wrote:I'm aware that

Luminon wrote:

I'm aware that you wrote, that you make no attempt to identify the origin of your feelings of awe. I hope this is not some impassable tenet

I don't believe I ever wrote that. You may be referring to something Phil Zuckerman wrote on Aweism. I am not defending Zuckerman's article. It was only a spark which started the initial discussion which led to the formation of the new wonderism group. In fact, in my comment on jrfrog's blog, I reject aweism in favour of wonderism.

However, I don't want to alienate Aweists, so my group is open to them. I see Aweism as a starting point, and wonderism as one step beyond that starting point. Therefore, people who are interested in Aweism might also be interested in wonderism.

For the record, I do not know exactly where awe comes from. I suspect that we will know soon, when science learns more about the brain and consciousness.

However, I do have my conceptualizations, speculations, and intuitions about what awe is and where it comes from.

Awe is most likely one of the most basic (if not *the* most basic) conscious experiences, upon which most (or all) other conscious experiences are built. Awe, and specifically wonder and terror, which are the two aspects of awe which I identify, are almost certainly a result of evolution. It makes sense for a newborn organism to try to learn about the world it is born into. When it encounters something unknown, it makes evolutionary sense for it to try to learn about it. This is basic curiosity, and the conscious experience of that is wonder. However, there are many dangerous unknowns, such as predators, and in other cases it makes evolutionary sense for the organism to be driven away from such dangers. This is basic self-preservation, and the conscious experience of that is terror. Both wonder and terror are different manifestations of the even more-basic awe experience.

I suspect that one day, science will confirm this speculation, or something close to it.

So, I do actually seek to identify the origin of awe and wonder, but initially, at the base of the philosophy, I take them as a given: "Yes, I do in fact feel awe. I do in fact feel wonder."

Quote:
, because I'd like to ask something. I see you've experienced awe on many ocassions. But hypothetically, if you'd have no children, no wife, no friends that you can discuss philosophy with, no opportunity to travel abroad or overseas, and so on, would you still experience awe, or less of it? How much is your awe dependent on circumstances?

This seems a strange question to me, but I'll answer it honestly. I imagine you're asking something like, "If you were the last human in existence, would you still feel awe or wonder?"

My immediate reaction to that would be, "Of course! I would still be conscious, my brain would still be functioning. The universe exists, even if the people I once knew no longer do."

However, of course it is true that our experience of awe and wonder are very dependent on circumstances. If I was all alone, I would more likely feel despair, dread, and terror, than joy, hope, and wonder. That's part of my biological heritage at being a human being and a social animal.

And at the same time, I think a philosophy of wonder would help me pull through in such terrible circumstances. I might imagine to myself, "Well, looks like humanity is ultimately doomed. When I die, we will be officially extinct. But who could know for sure that no one else finds our planet, and is also motivated by curiosity, learning, and wonder? Maybe I'll spend my last few days leaving a message to whoever comes after, whether it is aliens, or maybe a new species that evolves intelligence millions of years from now. I'll tell them of our triumphs and our failures, and the precariousness of our existence. Maybe they can achieve what we failed to."

This would give me a sense of hope and wonder for the future, instead of wallowing in despair.

Quote:
It seems to me that aweism is much more than just a philosophy, it's the best of what you are. Therefore, it's not like anybody could study aweism, join it, practice it, or even teach it.  There is very little that can actually be written about it, no logics, no equations, no tenets.

For the record, I'm not defending aweism. I'm promoting wonderism. Wonderism is definitely a philosophy (or, rather, a family of related philosophies based on wonder).

Quote:
It's in fact, it's more like a quality of your consciousness, and a nice one. If I'd want to be critical, I'd say, either it's no philosophy at all, or it's a terribly nebulous one Smiling After giving it some thought, don't think this is mysticism, though for different technical reasons than you wrote. Unless you remember ever suffering by personal vices like inappropriate idealism, devotion, self-righteousness or even fanatism. These are common vices of mysticism. So if it's not mysticism, I'd say it's soulfulness, in both occult and common sense. You can understand it as a natural quality of character, this is why there are aweists (and were, like IAGAY) independently of any definition or tradition.

I certainly miss IAGAY. I guess you're right, he was more of an aweist than a wonderist. Nothing wrong with that. I wonder what he would say to wonderism.

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Ken G. wrote: I think that

Ken G. wrote:

 I think that it was Einstein that said that if a peron loses their wonderment,it's like being deaf and blind . 

I wonder what Hellen Keller would have thought of this statement?

 

Why is it okay to tell Helen Keller jokes?
- Because she can't hear or read them anyway!
 

 

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EXC wrote:Ken wrote:I think that

   Yes ,I also thought the same thing,cause Hellen Keller was a real radical,and I dig radicals. 

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natural wrote:Luminon

natural wrote:

Luminon wrote:

I'm aware that you wrote, that you make no attempt to identify the origin of your feelings of awe. I hope this is not some impassable tenet

I don't believe I ever wrote that. You may be referring to something Phil Zuckerman wrote on Aweism. I am not defending Zuckerman's article. It was only a spark which started the initial discussion which led to the formation of the new wonderism group. In fact, in my comment on jrfrog's blog, I reject aweism in favour of wonderism.

Yes, that's probably it, Phil Zuckerman. Sorry.

natural wrote:
However, I don't want to alienate Aweists, so my group is open to them. I see Aweism as a starting point, and wonderism as one step beyond that starting point. Therefore, people who are interested in Aweism might also be interested in wonderism.

For the record, I do not know exactly where awe comes from. I suspect that we will know soon, when science learns more about the brain and consciousness.

However, I do have my conceptualizations, speculations, and intuitions about what awe is and where it comes from.

Awe is most likely one of the most basic (if not *the* most basic) conscious experiences, upon which most (or all) other conscious experiences are built. Awe, and specifically wonder and terror, which are the two aspects of awe which I identify, are almost certainly a result of evolution. It makes sense for a newborn organism to try to learn about the world it is born into. When it encounters something unknown, it makes evolutionary sense for it to try to learn about it. This is basic curiosity, and the conscious experience of that is wonder. However, there are many dangerous unknowns, such as predators, and in other cases it makes evolutionary sense for the organism to be driven away from such dangers. This is basic self-preservation, and the conscious experience of that is terror. Both wonder and terror are different manifestations of the even more-basic awe experience.

I suspect that one day, science will confirm this speculation, or something close to it.

So, I do actually seek to identify the origin of awe and wonder, but initially, at the base of the philosophy, I take them as a given: "Yes, I do in fact feel awe. I do in fact feel wonder."

All right. I can't say much here, I know very little about awe. I'll be certainly curious about the scientific discoveries, and if I find out something interesting, I might share it as well.

natural wrote:
Quote:
, because I'd like to ask something. I see you've experienced awe on many ocassions. But hypothetically, if you'd have no children, no wife, no friends that you can discuss philosophy with, no opportunity to travel abroad or overseas, and so on, would you still experience awe, or less of it? How much is your awe dependent on circumstances?

This seems a strange question to me, but I'll answer it honestly. I imagine you're asking something like, "If you were the last human in existence, would you still feel awe or wonder?"

ROFL! Well, thank you very much Smiling Last person on Earth, really? I meant someone like myself, I have no children or wife, no friends able to discuss philosophy, I have never seen the sea, and so on, but otherwise I'm fine. By formal standards, my life is unexciting, well, except of my very unusual hobbies and sensoric perception that spice up the life. And it is true, that I feel awe very rarely, because of a lack of opportunity. But there is another feeling. I have two main states of mind. Neutrality, and spontaneous joy and love. Joy out of nothing and because of all, love towards nobody and everything at the same time. Sometimes I can't hold myself of smiling from the inner happiness regardless of circumstances, if there's no direct threat in sight. My weekly meditations seem to strengthten that effect. Sometimes I feel like the whole universe loves me. Again, I observe no apparent reason, no gods, spirits, voices, nothing. I know it's sounds cheesy, but that's it, a feeling of love stripped of all conditions and biological, social and cultural context.
Maybe scientists can find out, if there is a real state of mind, that is not imposed by outer circumstances, but it's also not created by personality. This might lead to a discovery, that we are more than the physical body. There seem to be cycles of that, some weeks I feel normally, and in some weeks I feel what I described.  This is something I think that is missing from psychology, we have psychopathology, common psychology (for marketing etc.) but we don't have science of higher states of consciousness, because they're culturally tied with religions and woo and people for study are so rare. And here you are, possibly a specimen of what I mean, and not burdened with religion. I believe that higher states of consciousness increase quality of life and act positively on our character qualities and ethical standards, this is why they're valuable and should be studied and taught.

natural wrote:

I certainly miss IAGAY. I guess you're right, he was more of an aweist than a wonderist. Nothing wrong with that. I wonder what he would say to wonderism.

Yeah. Perhaps it's very unusual to express the philosophy of wonder as 'wonderism'. I don't understand that completely yet, but again, I'm very rarely asked for who or what I am, nobody here cares. In place where you need to describe yourself somehow, wonderism must be a great idea.


 

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natural,With your further

natural,

With your further clarification on the blog, I rescind my statement.

 

I appreciate the time you've taken to expound upon the concept of wonderism. I was wondering if you could take just a bit more and compare/contrast wonderism to metaphysical naturalism as examined by Richard Carrier in his book 'Sense and goodness without god: a defense of metaphysical naturalism'.

Can it be that the concept of wonderism is more of an explanation for behavior already present in humanity as a virtue of our cognizance?

Is the enticement to realize wonderism a trait present within all humans or do you feel there are people incapable of examining all of the aspects of furthering the philosophy? For instance, we have already found that there are quite a great number of individuals incapable or unwilling to use the scientific method in any aspect of their lives.

 

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Luminon wrote:ROFL! Well,

Luminon wrote:
ROFL! Well, thank you very much Smiling Last person on Earth, really? I meant someone like myself, I have no children or wife, no friends able to discuss philosophy, I have never seen the sea, and so on, but otherwise I'm fine. By formal standards, my life is unexciting, well, except of my very unusual hobbies and sensoric perception that spice up the life. And it is true, that I feel awe very rarely, because of a lack of opportunity. But there is another feeling. I have two main states of mind. Neutrality, and spontaneous joy and love. Joy out of nothing and because of all, love towards nobody and everything at the same time. Sometimes I can't hold myself of smiling from the inner happiness regardless of circumstances, if there's no direct threat in sight. My weekly meditations seem to strengthten that effect. Sometimes I feel like the whole universe loves me.

Luminon, you are one lucky dude. Most people would do anything to be 'stuck' with alternating neutrality or pure love.

I'm not sure what to say except, "Lucky dude." Do you never get sad, anxious, tired, lonely, etc.?

Have you ever seen videos or interviews of Eckhart Tolle? That guy has calm and happy down to an art form. I sometimes wonder whether he's faking some of the time. I have used his meditation techniques, and they did help me achieve some Now moments, which were very nice. In the end, I couldn't maintain it. I have to work, earn money, cope with ADHD, etc. and I simply couldn't figure out how to keep Tolle's techniques in practice 24 hours a day as he seems to do. You sound like you're Tolle's long-lost twin brother or something. Maybe a love-child? Eye-wink

Quote:
Again, I observe no apparent reason, no gods, spirits, voices, nothing. I know it's sounds cheesy, but that's it, a feeling of love stripped of all conditions and biological, social and cultural context.

This is why I respect you, even though I think you have wacky ideas. At least you're honest, and I value honesty a lot. Actually, I kind of wish you could translate your techniques for experiencing joy and love into words that evidence-based reasoners like me could grasp. I know there's real practicality to meditation and such, but I'm not very skilled at it yet. Without clear explanation free from woo woo, I have a hard time 'getting it'. Only Tolle has been clear enough for me to get some success. He's mostly woo-free, with some exceptions.

Quote:
Maybe scientists can find out, if there is a real state of mind, that is not imposed by outer circumstances, but it's also not created by personality. This might lead to a discovery, that we are more than the physical body. There seem to be cycles of that, some weeks I feel normally, and in some weeks I feel what I described.  This is something I think that is missing from psychology, we have psychopathology, common psychology (for marketing etc.) but we don't have science of higher states of consciousness, because they're culturally tied with religions and woo and people for study are so rare.

There is a growing field of 'positive psychology' which is attempting to scientifically study just what you're talking about. Jonathan Haidt is a good example.

Quote:
And here you are, possibly a specimen of what I mean, and not burdened with religion.

I'm not so lucky as you with the joy and love department. My wonder is more basic. I'm dealing with my own mental health issues, ADHD, mild anxiety, mild depression. Wonder is what keeps me going despite my problems. When I face an obstacle, my first instinct is not to give up or compromise, but to learn about the obstacle and overcome it. That's the basic attitude of wonderism that I'm trying to convey. It's how I got through school, though I hated it. Got a great job, though I struggled with ADHD. And started learning about mental health, when the ADHD finally became too much and my career collapsed. Now I know about the ADHD and I'm getting treatment for it. It's been my basic curiosity the whole time, that has kept me going. The desire to do something better, and build something greater. But I'm not a model of mental health, I will readily admit.

Coincidentally, that same basic curiosity/wonder is why I was a self-acknowledged atheist at age 8 or 9. I kept asking "How do you know that?" and never settled for bad answers. It's exactly the same attitude. All I'm doing with the Wonderism group and making a philosophy out of wonder is to express this idea in practical terms, so other people can choose to adopt some of these ideas to help themselves as they helped me.

Quote:
I believe that higher states of consciousness increase quality of life and act positively on our character qualities and ethical standards, this is why they're valuable and should be studied and taught.

I wholeheartedly agree. You should get some books on Positive Psychology. I recommend The Happiness Hypothesis. Also the book called Flow.

Quote:
Yeah. Perhaps it's very unusual to express the philosophy of wonder as 'wonderism'. I don't understand that completely yet, but again, I'm very rarely asked for who or what I am, nobody here cares. In place where you need to describe yourself somehow, wonderism must be a great idea.

Ask me questions. It's easier for me to answer a specific question, than to imagine what topic I should write about next, out of the hundreds of topics I can think of.

The reason I finally went with 'wonderism' is because I saw so many other people with basic philosophies that were very similar, but they were struggling with the whole "Well, yes, I'm an atheist, but I also believe in all sorts of other things, like science, ethics, etc." Especially scientists I liked. I see that there are thousands of people with similar ideas, but the fear of 'becoming a religion' has stopped them from connecting with each other and putting together a named philosophy. So, I took the first step. Now I'm taking the next step, which is to accept criticism and peer review and defend the idea as best I can, adapting it if needed.

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darth_josh,I'm working on my

darth_josh,

I'm working on my reply to you. I hope to have it up late this evening. Have to visit my folks right now.

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Okay, darth_josh, this is

Okay, darth_josh, this is turning out bigger than I was hoping. I'm going to have to split it into multiple (hopefully two, but maybe three) posts. I'll post the first one tomorrow, and if I'm lucky the other one too. I have to tackle methodological naturalism and epistemology before I can get to metaphysical naturalism and ontology. I was hoping to just jump straight into ontology, but my mind kept bringing me back to the 'How do we know?' questions, and I have some neat ideas on that, so I couldn't resist.

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No worries.I hope I'm

No worries.

I hope I'm helping with questions and not hindering or leading you somewhere else you weren't ready for.

If I ask a stupid question just say so.

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darth_josh wrote:I was

darth_josh wrote:
I was wondering if you could take just a bit more and compare/contrast wonderism to metaphysical naturalism as examined by Richard Carrier in his book 'Sense and goodness without god: a defense of metaphysical naturalism'.

The first part of my response is intended to deal with the whole 'faith' defense of supernaturalism. See Wonderism vs. faith. I have specific arguments against faith per se, so I wanted to address them independently. Besides, it was getting big on its own, and would have made the next article too unwieldy.

The next article will be Wonderism vs. supernaturalism. Here I'll present the case for why science (and wonderism) need to use methodological naturalism in order to understand the natural world.

The third article will be Wonderism and naturalism. This will explain the shift from epistemology to ontology, from method to worldview, and why I think wonderism supports a naturalistic, scientific worldview, not just 'science as a method'.

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Can it be that the concept of wonderism is more of an explanation for behavior already present in humanity as a virtue of our cognizance?

I'm not sure I understand the question. Is it an explanation for behaviour? Yes, I suppose. I don't think that's all it is, but so far in my posts it has focused mainly on intuitive defenses for the rationalist positions that I hold. So I guess in that sense it's an explanation for (my) behaviour. Hopefully it also explains other people's behaviours, like why they believe crazy ideas.

I will eventually get into the origins of the idea of wonderism, and how events in my life lead me to deciding to take on wonderism as a personal 'way of life' philosophy, rather than just an interesting idea to play around with. That will further explain my behaviour.

Aside from intuitive defenses of rationalism, there is a whole other side of it, where I attempt to explore intuition itself, how to use it, how to train it, and how it can be a powerful tool for political and cultural change, as we are trying to do with the unapologetic atheist movement. I try to remain rational as I explore intuition, but this is territory that may seem 'woo' at first glance to many skeptics, and so I'm currently laying down my groundwork for the strong rationalist, evidence-based position I hold. Inevitably, people will get the wrong impression and accuse wonderism (and me) of all sorts of stuff, like wishful thinking, for instance. This is the main reason I've held off for a long time, as I wasn't confident enough that I could defend it. But now I'm quite confident. It's just there's a lot of groundwork to lay out.

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Is the enticement to realize wonderism a trait present within all humans or do you feel there are people incapable of examining all of the aspects of furthering the philosophy? For instance, we have already found that there are quite a great number of individuals incapable or unwilling to use the scientific method in any aspect of their lives.

I don't know. I do believe that wonder itself is universal. As to whether everyone could (or would even want to) adopt wonderism? Maybe? Eventually? It would probably take a long long time. I doubt it would ever become universal. Fear is a powerful emotion. I believe it is more powerful than love. Terror is stronger than wonder, by default. Wonder can only prevail by seeking knowledge and using it to overcome terror. There will always be ideologies that feed on terror, causing people to perpetuate them out of fear of the unknown. However, even in this case it is possible for those who embrace wonder to marginalize terror-based ideologies, much the same way we are trying to marginalize religions. I think it can be done. It doesn't require everyone to be a wonderist, or even an atheist. It will take time, but the advantage of science is the ability to overcome stubborn ignorance through pure power of pragmatic truth to gain control over unpredictable forces, like beliefs. By studying psychology, neuroscience, and dare-I-say-it? memetics, we may be able to tame religion without falling into the trap of creating an ideology just as bad or worse, like Communism or Scientology or something.

I still see a possible future where humanity gets its terror under control and begins the serious task of fixing all the giant messes we've created. If wonderism can help without making the situation worse, that's what I'm hoping for. Even if it's not wonderism per se that does it, but it helps inspire some people to move in the right direction and start the movement which *does* work, I think that's worth it.

[Edit:]

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I hope I'm helping with questions and not hindering or leading you somewhere else you weren't ready for.

If I ask a stupid question just say so.

None so far. Don't be shy with them. I would eventually have had to write up naturalism anyway, so don't worry that it would be a wrench in my plans. The delays were a combination of it being a fairly big topic, my natural inclination to procrastinate, and work/life getting in the way.

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natural wrote: Luminon, you

natural wrote:
Luminon, you are one lucky dude. Most people would do anything to be 'stuck' with alternating neutrality or pure love. I'm not sure what to say except, "Lucky dude." Do you never get sad, anxious, tired, lonely, etc.?
Sure, I get these feelings sometimes. The difference is, that there's relatively few of things that can upset me seriously. For example, almost nothing that had been ever said on this forum falls to this cathegory. These problems also appear gradually to be tackled one by one, as the time and my inner progress unfolds. I've been recently succesful in recognizing and naming what is currently my greatest problem and I will be able to direct the positive psychotherapies at it. But without invoking the greater power within, I'd be alone in that effort. There is the necessity of meditation and theory behind it says that the inner human nature, the soul, is the source of divine qualities and personal strength. And so I meditate to get in contact with it, and I see it works. By now, I think that negative feelings are pretty much in minority. Of course, the neutrality is a very broad concept, including busy, melancholic, or pure neutrality. But only the inner feeling alone is not all that matters. In local youth culture the alcohol is as far as on the 1st place, then are cigarettes, loud music and watching sports. For a non-drinker, non-smoker and non-lip-reader it's impossible to fit into the crowd or become close with someone, and there is no replacement for it. Sure, feeling inner bliss and peace is good, but it's not all what the life is about. I'd also want to travel, meet foreigners (or anyone interesting), talk on meaningful topics, learn interesting things and work creatively. Of course, I participate in meditation sessions and astrology courses, but that's like a few times per month and with much older people that I otherwise don't meet, it's only a small holiday from that.
natural wrote:
Have you ever seen videos or interviews of Eckhart Tolle? That guy has calm and happy down to an art form. I sometimes wonder whether he's faking some of the time. I have used his meditation techniques, and they did help me achieve some Now moments, which were very nice. In the end, I couldn't maintain it. I have to work, earn money, cope with ADHD, etc. and I simply couldn't figure out how to keep Tolle's techniques in practice 24 hours a day as he seems to do. You sound like you're Tolle's long-lost twin brother or something. Maybe a love-child? Eye-wink
I have read one or two Tolle's books, but have not seen his interviews. I'll certainly check them out. As for the love-child, I think that Iron Curtain was still Tolleproof at the time Smiling The trick is in nothing else, than in trying. There are inevitably loses of focus, but instead of thinking about it, just try it again and again. It's unfortunate that you're not much into esotericism, because it's a natural field for positive psychology. The philosophy behind that is very humanistic and there are concepts to describe any personality really precisely. You know, there is IQ and more recently discovered EQ, emotional intelligence. Then some psychologist (I'll have to ask for the name later) discovered, that EQ is not a single value, but in fact a set of 5 or 6 separate intelligences. And here my father (innovative astrologer) comes into play. He had read this theory and he discovered that all the intelligences exactly matched particular archetypes (behavior models) of zodiac signs. And accordingly, the other zodiac signs symbolize other models of intelligence, that the psychologist didn't discover or describe yet. But all these intelligences are of course distinct and very needed in their own areas of life.
natural wrote:
This is why I respect you, even though I think you have wacky ideas. At least you're honest, and I value honesty a lot. Actually, I kind of wish you could translate your techniques for experiencing joy and love into words that evidence-based reasoners like me could grasp. I know there's real practicality to meditation and such, but I'm not very skilled at it yet. Without clear explanation free from woo woo, I have a hard time 'getting it'. Only Tolle has been clear enough for me to get some success. He's mostly woo-free, with some exceptions.
All right. There are indeed parallels between woo and scientific facts. Particularly, meditation is often a mental focus into a certain point. (not mental relaxation) That point is different for each method. Zen meditation focuses on solar plexus, mystic meditations focuses at heart, and Transmission meditation which I do, focuses on the point on forehead. Obviously, there are major endocrine glands around these places. Meditation is therefore a conscious influencing of nerve and endocrine system in unusual way. Of course, you can enhance the glands and brain by your effort, but you can also fuck them up and get neurotic, somewhat as you are now. If I would focus occultly in a certain way, I'd cause myself a serious headache, vertigo, I could perhaps even faint. This is really not a good thing to do for entertainment. Surprisingly, if I do exactly the same thing during Transmission meditation (which involves using a certain invocation) this does not happen, not even with total beginners. The process is perfectly safe, mind is cleared, headache and tension is gone, and so on. So there is a physiologic aspect (influencing the glands in brain through nerve system) but there is also the occult aspect, which makes this effort be safe, self-transforming, and ocassionally quite pleasant. (have you ever had braingasm? Smiling ) This is why I can't provide a completely woo-free information, for something there are not yet scientifically kosher words. For example, I'm based on my own limited experience and I personally can not recommend you to meditate any other way than TM, with using the invocation, otherwise I can't guarantee positive results and safety.
natural wrote:
There is a growing field of 'positive psychology' which is attempting to scientifically study just what you're talking about. Jonathan Haidt is a good example.
Sounds interesting, I have read something of it by now. So far, there are things somewhat familiar to me. I am very curious if the author will be able to get ahead of the personality trinity - flesh, emotions and intellect. I have seen people who were quite normal most of the time, but in a specific moment, when standing in front of a class of audience for example, they could make up on the spot completely new and sensible theories and explanations. It is like they would pick up a mental link to the source of all geniality, at the moment. Even their voice was a little altered. I wonder if any psychologist is familiar with this phenomenon. In my opinion, the human beings consist of more parts of personality than these mentioned, and some of them can manifest the higher parts, sometimes. In these moments we see them, for example, as you describe Eckhart Tolle. It is also a known thing, that many people develop "a second personality" during their mature life, which may be much different from who they have been. These are fringe phenomena that are diffcult to study for that reason. So far, I only know that esotericism studies them primarily.
natural wrote:
I'm not so lucky as you with the joy and love department. My wonder is more basic. I'm dealing with my own mental health issues, ADHD, mild anxiety, mild depression. Wonder is what keeps me going despite my problems. When I face an obstacle, my first instinct is not to give up or compromise, but to learn about the obstacle and overcome it. That's the basic attitude of wonderism that I'm trying to convey. It's how I got through school, though I hated it. Got a great job, though I struggled with ADHD. And started learning about mental health, when the ADHD finally became too much and my career collapsed. Now I know about the ADHD and I'm getting treatment for it. It's been my basic curiosity the whole time, that has kept me going. The desire to do something better, and build something greater. But I'm not a model of mental health, I will readily admit.
That's a good attitude in face of problems. But I admit, I'd never go for head pills. If the symptoms disappeared after you started taking pills and returned when you stopped taking them, then obviously the pills don't work, they only suppress the symptoms. The problem also is, that you shouldn't try anything else, unless your body will get rid of the psychopharmacology completely, which may take time. We do not recommend taking head pills for lightier cases, because according to our knowledge they may suppress functions of so-called higher mind, like intuition, inspiration, visionariness and the ability to undergo a regression therapy. By any chance, do you observe anything of that? After that, we here have an opinion, that medicine prescribed by a professional homeopath should help. Of course, you live in USA and I keep hearing scary stories like that just opening door of a practical doctor costs you several hundreds of dollars, and that alternative medicine is not much better. Here opening the door costs only 2 dollars and the cheaper the alternative medicine or therapy is, the better it works. You see that in these circumstances I'm much more open to experimenting.
natural wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree. You should get some books on Positive Psychology. I recommend The Happiness Hypothesis. Also the book called Flow.
I'm reading through some online parts from The Happiness Hypothesis. I'm still not sure what's going on there. But as for Flow, I have not found the book yet, but I have read up something about it. I found out, that the state of mind called flow is in fact, a thing greatly revered in esotericism. Enlightened people in far East (or their disciples) describe living in the state of flow permanently, being absolutely immersed in what they are doing, even if it's just an ordinary activity, like eating or sitting. Furthermore, there is a more local and recent hypothesis on how our mind creates the illusion of time. The linear time does not exist but in our brain, and it is because of that illusion, that we must wait, get bored, get nervous, afraid, think of whatever could possibly get wrong, and if that neighbouring state will or will not attack us, and if perhaps we shouldn't attack it first. But the mental state of flow is a breakdown of the time illusion. It reveals the true nature of time, which is cyclic. Everything that happens is not time, but cycles, from sub-atomic, to cosmic level. Nobody should take that true awareness from us. It's unfortunate, that our civilization is based on measuring of time linearly, we have to keep with schedules and our attention is violated frequently on purpose, for example because of commercials. The very first issue of the Share International magazine had an article on the topic of time and it's true basis. And more recently, Peter Lynds, a teacher from New Zealand, created a scientific hypothesis about that.
natural wrote:
Ask me questions. It's easier for me to answer a specific question, than to imagine what topic I should write about next, out of the hundreds of topics I can think of. The reason I finally went with 'wonderism' is because I saw so many other people with basic philosophies that were very similar, but they were struggling with the whole "Well, yes, I'm an atheist, but I also believe in all sorts of other things, like science, ethics, etc." Especially scientists I liked. I see that there are thousands of people with similar ideas, but the fear of 'becoming a religion' has stopped them from connecting with each other and putting together a named philosophy. So, I took the first step. Now I'm taking the next step, which is to accept criticism and peer review and defend the idea as best I can, adapting it if needed.
OK, I finally found out something that can be asked about wonderism. What stance does wonderism take to: Global commercialism? Global poverty? War, peace, national defense? Nationalism? Drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse? Helping to find a sense of life for those who don't yet have their own (majority of people) and who are not wonderists? Disclosure of classified government and army files? You see, I'd like to know how does wonderism behave towards practical problems of the world. With all respect, without coping with these problems the wonderism would be pretty much useless, just like any impractical philosophy. You don't want to be ashamed by esotericism, which is quite resourceful with these topics, right? Smiling

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Luminon wrote:There is the

Luminon wrote:
There is the necessity of meditation and theory behind it says that the inner human nature, the soul, is the source of divine qualities and personal strength. And so I meditate to get in contact with it, and I see it works.

Personally, I just think it's your brain, nothing mystical like a soul.

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In local youth culture the alcohol is as far as on the 1st place, then are cigarettes, loud music and watching sports. For a non-drinker, non-smoker and non-lip-reader it's impossible to fit into the crowd or become close with someone, and there is no replacement for it. Sure, feeling inner bliss and peace is good, but it's not all what the life is about. I'd also want to travel, meet foreigners (or anyone interesting), talk on meaningful topics, learn interesting things and work creatively.

You're Czech, right? You should move to Prague and connect with all the English-speaking expats (as well as more-diverse Czech people) there. Move to Zizkov where all the action is. Hey, I recommend you visit my old favourite Tiki bar, called Tiki Taky (homepage, facebook) at Cimburkova 22. They have a relaxing atmosphere, not-too-loud fun music, and lots of eclectic people from all over the place. You can have a good conversation there, and you would fit right in.

I bet you could make money in Prague by starting a meditation group. There are lots of expats who would love that, and you know English very well. I bet you would do well there. Let me know if you are thinking about it, and I can give you some names of people who would be good contacts for spreading the message about a new meditation group. All you need is like 10-15 people in a weekly course and you could easily live there. If you do it daily, you could even live well.

Sounds like you're stuck in a small town or village. You need to explore.

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The philosophy behind that is very humanistic and there are concepts to describe any personality really precisely.

Have you ever tried the Myers-Briggs personality type test? You should try it. I'm an INTP, which has the nickname Architect, and falls in the Rational temperament. I'll bet you would be an Idealist temperament. Try it out and let us know what you find out. Smiling

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Zen meditation focuses on solar plexus, mystic meditations focuses at heart, and Transmission meditation which I do, focuses on the point on forehead. Obviously, there are major endocrine glands around these places.

See, this is a kind of woo or pseudoscience. There are no special 'glands' at the solar plexus or the middle of your forehead. Probably not your heart either, but I don't know that for sure.

I once went to a group with a friend, and the speaker was talking about how our conscious feelings really truly actually reside in our hearts. This was a fairly educated woman who was a good speaker, but she truly believed that our feelings, our personality, etc. are in our hearts. It ruined most of the talk for me, because I knew it was bullshit.

So I went up to her after the talk and said, "I guess you are using the heart as a metaphor. Can you explain the metaphor to me, because I know that feelings and personality are from the brain, and I'm trying to understand what you mean by 'heart'." She said, "No, it's really true." She started with some pseudoscience explanation about neurons in the heart, and I just said, "Well, if you get a heart transplant, you don't suddenly become somebody else, with someone else's feelings and personality." She said, "Oh, yeah, I guess not. But...." blah blah blah. I don't get it. Why not just say the heart is some sort of metaphor for our personality and feelings, even though it's really in the brain?

When you focus on your forehead, there is no actual energy being focused there. What is happening is that you are focusing your conscious attention on the region in your sensory cortex *in your brain*, which is how you are aware of your body sensations. That focusing of awareness has an effect in your brain, to allow you to meditate, but there's nothing mystical about it. Anyway, I don't want to rain on your parade, but that's how I react when I hear pseudoscience and woo. It just bugs me so much I can't figure out what the person is *actually* trying to explain.

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This is why I can't provide a completely woo-free information, for something there are not yet scientifically kosher words. For example, I'm based on my own limited experience and I personally can not recommend you to meditate any other way than TM, with using the invocation, otherwise I can't guarantee positive results and safety.

This is why woo bugs me so much. It has superstition built into it. "Well, I tried 'this and that', and I got some effect, so I will always try 'this and that'." Maybe it's only the 'this' that causes the effect, but the person is unsure, so they always do 'this and that', and the 'that' comes along for the ride. The 'that' is a superstition. Just like when a hockey player wears mismatching socks, wins a game, and from then on he always wears his 'lucky' mismatching socks.

I don't want the 'that' when just the 'this' will do. Unfortunately, so many 'thats' are not just rituals, but also beliefs, like believing in spirits, or Jesus or whatever.

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But I admit, I'd never go for head pills. If the symptoms disappeared after you started taking pills and returned when you stopped taking them, then obviously the pills don't work, they only suppress the symptoms.

That *is* how they work, by suppressing the symptoms. ADHD is not curable, only treatable.

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We do not recommend taking head pills for lightier cases, because according to our knowledge they may suppress functions of so-called higher mind, like intuition, inspiration, visionariness and the ability to undergo a regression therapy. By any chance, do you observe anything of that?

No, that's all bullshit anti-ADHD propaganda. I have not experienced any changes in my personality at all. I only seem to be able to get more done, and have a slightly elevated mood. This is another reason I dislike woo and 'alternative' therapies. They breed a distrust in real science.

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After that, we here have an opinion, that medicine prescribed by a professional homeopath should help.

Opinion, not science. The science contradicts the opinion.

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Of course, you live in USA

Canada, thankfully.

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OK, I finally found out something that can be asked about wonderism. What stance does wonderism take to: Global commercialism? Global poverty? War, peace, national defense? Nationalism? Drug, alcohol and cigarette abuse? Helping to find a sense of life for those who don't yet have their own (majority of people) and who are not wonderists? Disclosure of classified government and army files? You see, I'd like to know how does wonderism behave towards practical problems of the world. With all respect, without coping with these problems the wonderism would be pretty much useless, just like any impractical philosophy. You don't want to be ashamed by esotericism, which is quite resourceful with these topics, right? Smiling

I don't yet know what 'foundational wonderism' will entail. It will require collaboration with more people to determine what a minimal, common set of ideas we will be able to agree upon. However, I can answer from my own perspective, which is influenced by my own wonderism.

Commercialism I see as a variety of 'consumptionism', which is consuming and consuming with little regard for the future. I think we need to tame capitalism and people's short-sighted consumptionism, so that it serves a greater purpose, rather than all being about greed and profit. The goal is 'sustainability'. This includes the environment.

Poverty is a major cause of over-population and suffering. I'd like to see a baseline of anti-poverty support, such as basic food, water, shelter, and healthcare for all people. Again, this is related to sustainability. Requires education and infrastructure. Can be initiated by local people who organize their local communities. There are many other additional things that can help, like micro-loans.

I think war is something like crime, it can't be completely stopped, but it can be minimized to very low levels with the right culture/education/government. We absolutely must get a handle on this before nuclear weapons become available to pretty much any dictator with the money.

Nationalism is a superstition. We are all humans. We have different cultures, but that does not make anyone 'superior'.

I don't have problems with many drugs, except the really addictive kinds. Social programs should be provided to reduce abuse and addiction. Some social drugs with negative health effects should be taxed heavily to pay for the societal costs of those health effects (I'm Canadian, where health care is a national social cost), like cigarettes and alcohol. Marijuana should be legalized and regulated, so any adult can buy it and use it if they want. It is less harmful than either cigarettes or alcohol. However, I'm also pro-healthcare, so people who have underlying conditions which they are 'self-medicating' with alcohol and other drugs should be treated for their underlying problems. This will drastically reduce abuse and addiction.

"Sense of life" Use existing cultural media, like movies, books, music, TV, etc. to provide a different message of wonder, instead of the current crap. Early education should be about exploration and discovery rather than forcing kids to conform and killing their natural wonder. Mental health programs, including counseling. Education in personal psychology, so people can understand themselves better.

"classified files" Not sure where you're going with that. Doesn't seem like a big issue to me. However, I do think that there are too many dirty secrets covering up corruption and illegal activities, at all levels of government, including military. I think government should be much more transparent, traceable, and reviewable by the people. I'm for elimination of corruption. There may be some cases where temporary secrets need to be kept, such as in the military. Eventually they should be made public. More important than that, however, I would hope we can reduce the military overall to a minimal force to defend against human rights violations. This goes with the point above about reducing war to a minimum. If the military is much smaller, then it's secrets won't be so terrible.

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Luminon
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Quote: Personally, I just

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Personally, I just think it's your brain, nothing mystical like a soul.

 Of course, there must be a physical activity in the brain, the question is what is the cause of it. The only books that describe such a processes are occult books. They say, that soul performs changes in brain activity, to make it's vehicle (me, hopefully) be more susceptible to it's influence and intuitive guidance.  Soul is not mystical, not more than the Houston center is mystical to astronauts on the orbit.  I know people who have much better uplink on the soul than me, and they can say mysterious predictions, that later show to be true. (want example?) They however value their privacy, they choose it over money.

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You're Czech, right? You should move to Prague and connect with all the English-speaking expats (as well as more-diverse Czech people) there. Move to Zizkov where all the action is. Hey, I recommend you visit my old favourite Tiki bar, called Tiki Taky (homepage, facebook) at Cimburkova 22. They have a relaxing atmosphere, not-too-loud fun music, and lots of eclectic people from all over the place. You can have a good conversation there, and you would fit right in. [/qoute] Sounds like a paradise. I wonder though, how I'd get an apartment, job and education there. Prague is terribly expensive place. Traditionally, apartments were always so hard to get in this country, (during communistic regime) so when someone moved away from his parents people thought that something wrong was going on.
But I'll hold that information in mind and if I'll ever get to Prague, I'll surely stop by!

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I bet you could make money in Prague by starting a meditation group. There are lots of expats who would love that, and you know English very well. I bet you would do well there. Let me know if you are thinking about it, and I can give you some names of people who would be good contacts for spreading the message about a new meditation group. All you need is like 10-15 people in a weekly course and you could easily live there. If you do it daily, you could even live well.

Sounds like you're stuck in a small town or village. You need to explore.
Making money by meditation? I'm shocked... That sounds like a simony! Smiling But seriously, that might work, if the expats would appreciate financially some english lectures and narrated meditation. That would be a dream coming true. However, there is something that I have to do, and this something is a higher education. I study public administration, regional development (making projects with grant money), marketing, politology, and some other stuff, including writing with all 10 fingers. I really need to study most of these things for my further living (as for marketing and economy, that's more like know your enemy Smiling ) and I've put my savings into it.
And yes, I'm stuck in a small town AND village, commuting between these.


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Have you ever tried the Myers-Briggs personality type test? You should try it. I'm an INTP, which has the nickname Architect, and falls in the Rational temperament. I'll bet you would be an Idealist temperament. Try it out and let us know what you find out. Smiling
I took a closer look at it, and... The fee for this service in the US is $150, The international fee is $175. The lowest number I could find was $65. Well, that really turned me off.
I've checked out this Idealistic personality type and it fits for about 60% as for what I'm now. (which is really a lot, good guess)
Without doubt, the INFP - [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healer_(Role_Variant)]healer[/url].
But I have  available some more advanced methods, to know who I am, who I was, and who I should become.
I have a beautiful inner reality. The problem is, that it's a drug, I suffer by it, and I'm addicted to it. I want to open myself to new contacts, but I have no idea how, where, when and why, while that blissful inner existence always lures me. I was an influential person in some my last past lives. I was a great scientist, innovator, expert, leader, teacher, a very rich and generous man with knowledge and intuition. But I was completely satisfied all by myself, I did not see any possible use for other people, including women. I had no idea that I could possibly do anything else than I did. And so when I died, my soul evaluated these life experiences as unsatisfactory, and decided that I absolutely must learn to coexist with people. And so I was reincarnated this time differently, deeply interested in other people, but having absolutely no idea how to approach them. Of course it's not that bad through the Internet and among intellectuals like here. But let's take a common collective. 90% of people there are the average herd, that can only smoke, get drunk and babble nonsense all the day. And the remaining people are outcasts, dispersed without common interest (nicotine) and without any ability to get together and hang out.
This is something that I have to solve. I already have psychosomatic health problems, like absent-mindedness or frequent headaches. Ampiflied by my bioenergetic perception it's very unpleasant and very confusing. And it will not just disappear. If I won't solve this particular problem, it will last for 10 years and then get milder for 7 years, but with a greater chance of developing a serious mental condition. But I still have, what made me great in the past. Those who really know me, love me. When I will do what I have to do, I will become a great man again, someone capable of changing the world, but this time also people in it.
Well, and that's not nearly everything that can be known about me. Can that Myers-Briggs personality test compare with what I already know? Smiling


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See, this is a kind of woo or pseudoscience. There are no special 'glands' at the solar plexus or the middle of your forehead. Probably not your heart either, but I don't know that for sure.
I'm sorry, but this is not a pseudoscience. I wrote "AROUND" these places. On the level of solar plexus there are adrenal glands and spleen. In the middle of the chest there is another one, so is on the throat (thyroid gland). And in the level of eyebrows top, there is the famous hypophysis and epiphysis. It does not matter that the glands are not on the surface.
The point is, that in these places are main organs of the vital body, called chakras. They are double vortexes, going through the body from front to back, along the spine. So even if a gland is deep below, the chakra vortex is going through. I'm not making this up, I am aware of these organs and they are under my conscious control. When the chakras are stimulated, it often feels like having a big hole in the middle of forehead or chest, reaching deep inside. The only theory which fits perfectly on that phenomenon is the ancient Indian teaching about chakra system plus nadis. Really, I've had all my life (including today) to observe and explore these phenomena on my own skin (plus above and below it) and I just know what fits.

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I once went to a group with a friend, and the speaker was talking about how our conscious feelings really truly actually reside in our hearts. This was a fairly educated woman who was a good speaker, but she truly believed that our feelings, our personality, etc. are in our hearts. It ruined most of the talk for me, because I knew it was bullshit.

So I went up to her after the talk and said, "I guess you are using the heart as a metaphor. Can you explain the metaphor to me, because I know that feelings and personality are from the brain, and I'm trying to understand what you mean by 'heart'." She said, "No, it's really true." She started with some pseudoscience explanation about neurons in the heart, and I just said, "Well, if you get a heart transplant, you don't suddenly become somebody else, with someone else's feelings and personality." She said, "Oh, yeah, I guess not. But...." blah blah blah. I don't get it. Why not just say the heart is some sort of metaphor for our personality and feelings, even though it's really in the brain?
Sure, that's bullshit. It's a shame that there are people who like to attend such a groups.
 Yeah, some feelings are felt in the place of heart, but it's the brain that feels them in the heart.

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When you focus on your forehead, there is no actual energy being focused there. What is happening is that you are focusing your conscious attention on the region in your sensory cortex *in your brain*, which is how you are aware of your body sensations. That focusing of awareness has an effect in your brain, to allow you to meditate, but there's nothing mystical about it. Anyway, I don't want to rain on your parade, but that's how I react when I hear pseudoscience and woo. It just bugs me so much I can't figure out what the person is *actually* trying to explain.
That would give sense, if it work only with brain. But the same kind of focusing can be done with any part of my body. The strongest response is in the exact place where chakras are. The higher chakra, the stronger effect.
By the way, I don't focus on my frontal cortex, but a little below it, between my eyebrows. Focusing on forehead had a bit different and...strange effects, I'd rather not do it anymore Smiling I can feel a  spot in the place where hypophysis is, deep inside, far behind my eyes and above my mouth, on the bottom of brain. This is accompanied by a typical hissing sound. Again, these are no memories of past, it's happening as I write.
As for the 'energy', it's as real and tangible for me, as a less or more dense substance, less or more hot, hovering around or circulating inside me. And specially, it's responsive to thought. If I focus somewhere, it concentrates there. It's as simple as that.

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That *is* how they work, by suppressing the symptoms. ADHD is not curable, only treatable.
I'm sorry to hear that. Personally, I wouldn't take that as answer, specially when the cause of ADHD is not yet fully understood. This is what the alternative medicine is about, a choice to try when the doctors are clueless.

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No, that's all bullshit anti-ADHD propaganda. I have not experienced any changes in my personality at all. I only seem to be able to get more done, and have a slightly elevated mood. This is another reason I dislike woo and 'alternative' therapies. They breed a distrust in real science.
Really? I thought that distrust in real science breeds alternative therapies. Well, now I'm only curious if regression therapy would work with you.

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Commercialism I see as a variety of 'consumptionism', which is consuming and consuming with little regard for the future. I think we need to tame capitalism and people's short-sighted consumptionism, so that it serves a greater purpose, rather than all being about greed and profit. The goal is 'sustainability'. This includes the environment.
Nice answer!

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Poverty is a major cause of over-population and suffering. I'd like to see a baseline of anti-poverty support, such as basic food, water, shelter, and healthcare for all people. Again, this is related to sustainability. Requires education and infrastructure. Can be initiated by local people who organize their local communities. There are many other additional things that can help, like micro-loans.
Again, good answer!

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I think war is something like crime, it can't be completely stopped, but it can be minimized to very low levels with the right culture/education/government. We absolutely must get a handle on this before nuclear weapons become available to pretty much any dictator with the money.
Good. I could only add, that war is technically the greatest crime of all, it basically consists of murder, rape and pillaging in mass numbers and it sends the country for decades back in development. War should be indeed classified as a crime. Secondly, culture/education/government for minimizing the war can only work if  there is no extreme poverty in that country. And we know that free market takes from the poor and gives to the rich, we must do oppositely. Share the resources. If we will not share the global resources, we will have to fight for them. I think that it's a thing that wonderists should know.

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Nationalism is a superstition. We are all humans. We have different cultures, but that does not make anyone 'superior'.
Correct! I'd personally add that nationalism should be about being critical to my own country, if there is a reason for it.

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I don't have problems with many drugs, except the really addictive kinds. Social programs should be provided to reduce abuse and addiction. Some social drugs with negative health effects should be taxed heavily to pay for the societal costs of those health effects (I'm Canadian, where health care is a national social cost), like cigarettes and alcohol. Marijuana should be legalized and regulated, so any adult can buy it and use it if they want. It is less harmful than either cigarettes or alcohol. However, I'm also pro-healthcare, so people who have underlying conditions which they are 'self-medicating' with alcohol and other drugs should be treated for their underlying problems. This will drastically reduce abuse and addiction.
Fine.

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"Sense of life" Use existing cultural media, like movies, books, music, TV, etc. to provide a different message of wonder, instead of the current crap. Early education should be about exploration and discovery rather than forcing kids to conform and killing their natural wonder. Mental health programs, including counseling. Education in personal psychology, so people can understand themselves better. 
Even better! I would really appreciate less classes of memorizing the content of Wikipedia and more of what you say.
By the way, the sense of life is a real thing. It's a method of reaching one's highest potential, while living in harmony with others. It's a lifetime task.

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"classified files" Not sure where you're going with that. Doesn't seem like a big issue to me. However, I do think that there are too many dirty secrets covering up corruption and illegal activities, at all levels of government, including military. I think government should be much more transparent, traceable, and reviewable by the people. I'm for elimination of corruption. There may be some cases where temporary secrets need to be kept, such as in the military. Eventually they should be made public. More important than that, however, I would hope we can reduce the military overall to a minimal force to defend against human rights violations. This goes with the point above about reducing war to a minimum. If the military is much smaller, then it's secrets won't be so terrible.
Good. For example, my little country bought several interceptors that nobody else wanted, for mysterious reasons, we're already pretty much in debts. Rumors are going that this reason was a ridiculously high bribe. One my teacher was a bit more to east, in Russia. He saw there an old, dirty hospital that barely had a single shower room in the building, and next to it a huge, modern military base with plastic windows and smooth lawn. And when he asked a local old man about it, he was honestly convinced that Russia needs these bases, otherwise the rest of world would attack and destroy them. And of course, everyone remembers the imaginary reasons for invading Iraq. So  transparency of government and military agenda is quite important.

All right, from now on I consider wonderism a truly moral and useful philosophy, worthy of spreading.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


Wonderist
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Luminon wrote:Sounds like a

Luminon wrote:
Sounds like a paradise. I wonder though, how I'd get an apartment, job and education there. Prague is terribly expensive place.

It may seem that way from where you are coming from, but once you're there, it's easy to live there. However, I'm glad you're focused on education, and I don't know how you could arrange that. I know Prague has good universities, but that's all I know. You would have to investigate if you could switch to one of them.

As far as apartments, there are always apartments available, and living in Zizkov is one of the cheapest places to live, while still being in the heart of the city.

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Making money by meditation? I'm shocked...

There's lots of that kind of thing going on in Prague. And yes, some expats would definitely pay for courses. There are also lots of tourists, and you could probably advertise and get short-term tourist courses, which would be even more lucrative, since tourists are already spending lots of money.

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Have you ever tried the Myers-Briggs personality type test?

I took a closer look at it, and... The fee for this service in the US is $150, The international fee is $175. The lowest number I could find was $65. Well, that really turned me off.

Sorry, maybe the link I gave you wasn't free. I didn't realize that. But you should be able to find a free test online. That's how I found out mine. I just googled "MBTI online test" and found these links. They look free. Find one where it doesn't ask for money or your email address:

http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

http://www.personalitytest.net/cgi-bin/q.pl

http://sminds.com/mbti/

http://similarminds.com/jung_word_pair.html

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I've checked out this Idealistic personality type and it fits for about 60% as for what I'm now. (which is really a lot, good guess)
Without doubt, the INFP - healer.

I was guessing INFP, but I didn't want to influence you too much. Anyway, if you can find a free test, it's still interesting. The test I took showed interesting statistics and possible other similar types I could be. Usually they are simply off by one letter from INTP, such and ENTP, ISTP, INFP, INTJ. But anyway, I found it useful and interesting.

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I was an influential person in some my last past lives.

Okay, I'm just going to skip that... only so much time in the day....

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... deeply interested in other people, but having absolutely no idea how to approach them. Of course it's not that bad through the Internet and among intellectuals like here. But let's take a common collective. 90% of people there are the average herd, that can only smoke, get drunk and babble nonsense all the day. And the remaining people are outcasts, dispersed without common interest (nicotine) and without any ability to get together and hang out.
This is something that I have to solve.

I think the only solution is to live in a bigger, more-diverse city. Otherwise, the internet is pretty much it. I always found more people to connect with when I lived in big cities.

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Can that Myers-Briggs personality test compare with what I already know? Smiling

I just think it's useful and interesting. It doesn't tell you everything about a person.

... skipping chakras ... Eye-wink

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When you focus on your forehead, there is no actual energy being focused there. What is happening is that you are focusing your conscious attention on the region in your sensory cortex *in your brain*, which is how you are aware of your body sensations. ...
That would give sense, if it work only with brain. But the same kind of focusing can be done with any part of my body. The strongest response is in the exact place where chakras are. The higher chakra, the stronger effect.

You're missing the point. *All* of your bodily sensations occur entirely in the brain, in your sensory cortex. The brain has a complete map of your body in it. Everything you *feel* about your body is really a feeling in that sensory cortex. It *all* happens in your brain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatosensory_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcentral_gyrus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_homunculus

 

There is such a thing as biofeedback, where focusing your attention on your body can produce real effects (like changing bloodflow to extremities). However, the attention focus, and the sensations, *all* occur inside your brain.

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As for the 'energy', it's as real and tangible for me, as a less or more dense substance, less or more hot, hovering around or circulating inside me. And specially, it's responsive to thought. If I focus somewhere, it concentrates there. It's as simple as that.

What you are talking about here is your ability to focus your attention on various sensations. Again, this is occurring in your brain. There is no actual 'energy' floating around your body, it's just your attention focus that makes it feel that way.

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This is what the alternative medicine is about, a choice to try when the doctors are clueless.

The doctors and scientists are the only ones with any clue at all. If alternative medicine worked, it would be called 'medicine', not 'alternative medicine'.

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No, that's all bullshit anti-ADHD propaganda. I have not experienced any changes in my personality at all. I only seem to be able to get more done, and have a slightly elevated mood. This is another reason I dislike woo and 'alternative' therapies. They breed a distrust in real science.
Really? I thought that distrust in real science breeds alternative therapies.

It's a vicious cycle. One feeds the other and vice versa.

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Good. I could only add, that war is technically the greatest crime of all, it basically consists of murder, rape and pillaging in mass numbers and it sends the country for decades back in development. War should be indeed classified as a crime.

Interesting idea. I still think there may be something to be said for defensive war, such as to stop a genocide, but these days I think some form of policing would be a better way to maintain stability. Unfortunately, this would take a long time to implement globally. There needs to be major political changes in all countries to get to that stage. Currently, there are some situations where the only realistic way to prevent greater tragedy is through the tragedy of military force. There aren't many wars I can think of that qualify, though. Certainly not the Iraq war.

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Secondly, culture/education/government for minimizing the war can only work if  there is no extreme poverty in that country. And we know that free market takes from the poor and gives to the rich, we must do oppositely. Share the resources. If we will not share the global resources, we will have to fight for them. I think that it's a thing that wonderists should know.

Actually, my ideas along these lines are more general than wonderism, and I call this idea 'foundationism', which means to reduce conflict by providing a stable, basic foundation for everyone, such as eliminating poverty conditions. Wonderism would come more on the education/culture side of things.

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All right, from now on I consider wonderism a truly moral and useful philosophy, worthy of spreading.

Thanks! We'll see. I definitely think it's something promising, and I hope it develops into something very solid. I'm confident enough in it to push in that direction, and try to get others to contribute. But it's not quite complete yet. There is still the danger of ideological hijacking, which I discuss in a post here: Can an anti-dogma philosophy prevent becoming a dogma itself?

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natural wrote: I was

natural wrote:
I was guessing INFP, but I didn't want to influence you too much. Anyway, if you can find a free test, it's still interesting. The test I took showed interesting statistics and possible other similar types I could be. Usually they are simply off by one letter from INTP, such and ENTP, ISTP, INFP, INTJ. But anyway, I found it useful and interesting.

You're right, I tried 3 of the tests you gave, and the more complex the test was, the closer was the result to INFP.
natural wrote:
I think the only solution is to live in a bigger, more-diverse city. Otherwise, the internet is pretty much it. I always found more people to connect with when I lived in big cities.
That's right, but a more immediate solution is to exercise my will and outer attention. If I speak to someone and he doesn't hear me or starts talking to someone else, then I have to get closer and get his attention, not shut up and wait. If there is group talking about something,then I have to get somehow politely but near the center and participate, not stand outside and stretch my ears for the speech. I also have to learn the elusive art of chit-chat. Generally, if it's something that I'd rather not do, then it's exactly what I have to do.
natural wrote:
You're missing the point. *All* of your bodily sensations occur entirely in the brain, in your sensory cortex. The brain has a complete map of your body in it. Everything you *feel* about your body is really a feeling in that sensory cortex. It *all* happens in your brain. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somatosensory_system http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postcentral_gyrus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortical_homunculus There is such a thing as biofeedback, where focusing your attention on your body can produce real effects (like changing bloodflow to extremities). However, the attention focus, and the sensations, *all* occur inside your brain.

Yes, OK. But people are still able to differ, what is biofeedback and what is an outer phenomenon outside of the brain. Furthermore, I can see that the biofeedback doesn't occur unless I concentrate the energy. Otherwise, it behaves as a real thing, for decades, without a single blackout. There is no way why, when or how I could have such a feedback installed in my brain, that could simulate a feeling indistinguishable from reality in every detail, yet so different from any worldly thing. Using Occam's razor, it's simplier to assume that what I perceive is real, than to hypothetize a massive lifetime hallucination, (without any other side effects) for which there is no evidence. Such was my stance until the time I received an external evidence that it is real. See further.
natural wrote:
What you are talking about here is your ability to focus your attention on various sensations. Again, this is occurring in your brain. There is no actual 'energy' floating around your body, it's just your attention focus that makes it feel that way.

It's diffcult to allow you to use logics, because with little data you simplify and trivialize the phenomenon, and if I try to describe it closely enough, you get a woo alergic reaction. I see I will really have to write everything down, systematically. For now,
a) I have met people, who were able to see this ectoplasmatic substance which I work with around me, without me telling them in advance. I was also succesful in teaching one person to produce such a substance, and which was in return tangible to me, without me expecting this in advance. This is of course not all, but most notable.
b) The perception is not focusing. Perception is passive effortless and can be switched on with mere thought. Maintaining it requires no focus or mental effort at all. This is the same as playing with the ectoplasmatic substance, it's effortless, almost subconscious. The real focusing comes to play when I want to concentrate the substance and energize it, for example, to speed up healing or blood flow somewhere, or to meditate.
c) the sensations are not various, they're pretty specific. It feels exactly as I described, as an external, real, physical phenomenon, which is occupies the space, has it's own elasticity, density, stickiness, which I can examine at my will. Otherwise, I can not cause myself to feel anything common on demand.
natural wrote:
The doctors and scientists are the only ones with any clue at all. If alternative medicine worked, it would be called 'medicine', not 'alternative medicine'.

Not necessarily. The primary requirement for something to be called 'medicine' is understanding. There is a plenty of medicinal techniques that are invasive, have low success rate or only cover the symptoms, and yet they're called 'medicine'. This is, because they're well scientifically understood and predictable. But a technique that can not be explained by contemporary scientific theories can not be called medicine, until the theories change. And change of theories is dependent on finances and political will. I think that the recent scandals around the swine flu campaign and vaccine showed well enough, that medicine is more business, than science. Today, most of all business is dirty, because this kind of business is more succesful. All corporations rip off their customers. Most of them conspire together, although it's forbidden by anti-trust laws, but very hard to prove. People are bought. This is no conspiracy theory, this is simply how marketing works. Human morality is much different from market morality. Marketing has it's own set of laws, that decide success of an economic subject, and there is nothing about truth, justice, fairness, transparency, equal chances, or whatever. Quite opposite, the economic theory describes this as an impossible, theoretical model situation. This is how money are used today. I can't understand at all, why and how miraculously should be medicine or science excluded from the laws of marketing and politics, when they're so indivisibly tied together. Remember, I live in a state which is so corrupted, that it's called a banana republic of the Europe. It's very new beginning was marked by billions of CZK disappearing abroad. Theft, corruption, bribes, and scandals are so common, that nobody around here is really surprised and not much more people are sufficiently punished for that. It's rather you that should explain me somehow, how an institution, corporation or individuals with financial and power interests can possibly behave honestly and beneficially to common people. This is beyond my understanding, I grew up in a nation of thieves, shady dealings are the normal state of things. Of course, I believe it can change, but I'm pretty sure it didn't yet. So far, trusting the government, media, businessmen, authorities or areas with high concentration of money is a truly ridiculous idea. And oppositely, only individuals who can't gain or lose anything can be taken seriously. This is how I think.
natural wrote:
Interesting idea. I still think there may be something to be said for defensive war, such as to stop a genocide, but these days I think some form of policing would be a better way to maintain stability. Unfortunately, this would take a long time to implement globally. There needs to be major political changes in all countries to get to that stage. Currently, there are some situations where the only realistic way to prevent greater tragedy is through the tragedy of military force. There aren't many wars I can think of that qualify, though. Certainly not the Iraq war.

Yes, defensive war is a necessity. But it must belong under OSN command and it's use must be ordered by a set of international laws. The priorities should be to defend the attacked nation, capture and punish warmongers and to use threats of superior military power on ordinary rebels. War as a way of achieving anything must become completely impossible. Peace must become the duty of all, and war the privilege of no-one. Any and all problems can be and must be solved through civilized communication, good will and compromise. Together with real practicing of basic human rights, this will contribute to elimination of war as such. Yes, deep political changes are necessary, but I think we can realistically expect them, when the global crises will get worse. I think that some new face in TV might greatly help these changes.
natural wrote:
Actually, my ideas along these lines are more general than wonderism, and I call this idea 'foundationism', which means to reduce conflict by providing a stable, basic foundation for everyone, such as eliminating poverty conditions. Wonderism would come more on the education/culture side of things.

Yeah, I see what you mean. It's exactly the same thing, as an astrologer would say, that exoterically age of Taurus is coming (on siderical zodiac) and esoterically the age of Aquarius. (on tropical zodiac) Really, these archetypes fit perfectly on definitions of foundationism and wonderism. Just as before the archetype of tropical (esoteric) Pisces age fitted on countless religions and individualism, and the archetype of sideric Aries caused (exoteric) wars in name of these religions. Sorry, I couldn't resist Smiling I could actually continue easily a few millenia into the past, as far as our ancestor cultures are concerned.
natural wrote:
Thanks! We'll see. I definitely think it's something promising, and I hope it develops into something very solid. I'm confident enough in it to push in that direction, and try to get others to contribute. But it's not quite complete yet. There is still the danger of ideological hijacking, which I discuss in a post here: Can an anti-dogma philosophy prevent becoming a dogma itself?

I don't think there will be such a dogmatic problem with future wonderism and foundationism, as you imagine it. I have just checked some possible catches, but you answered correctly. This combination will save the world for now, (if really practiced) it's what the world needs. The problem with that in later centuries or millenia will be, that humanity might start to see itself as all-powerful and perfect, and some gigantic planetary-wide technologic project gone wrong could cause a catastrophe. If you think it's a real worry, you should add some humility and caution in progress.

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.