Monday, February 6, 2012

Stalking the Wild Pendulum: A Book Report, Part 2

In case you have happened upon this and are unawares, I'll let you know that I am reading Stalking the Wild Pendulum by Itzhak Bentov, hereto referred to as Ben, and it is cool.  This is part two of my book report.

To read part 1, go here... Stalking...

"Perhaps a piece of space can be traversed by a particle of matter in any direction without necessarily being synchronized with a piece of time."


Dudes.  This stuff won't stick to my brain.  It's like math that way.  Writing it helps...  The conclusion of the chapter is difficult to grasp:  Without change or movement there is no objective or subjective reality.  The author comes to this conclusion after talking a lot of jive turkey about physics, including his explanations of what objective and subjective reality ARE.  He says that objective reality is a void, which I'm thinking of in grand scale like the void of SPACE, SPACE, SPACE.  That void is filled with stuff that moves, like you and me and lots of other stuff.  On the most micro level imagineable, or not even imagineable, the movement is actually a successions of motion and rest.  Subjective reality is everything we soak up with our senses.  But, our senses transmit the information to us through the electronic firings of the nervous system, making subjective reality also a succession of motion and rest.  Ben says that without motion, there would be no percievable reality Here Ben quotes a book called The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects:  "The tangible world is movement, say the masters, not a collection of moving objects, but movement itself."  There is a lot more to the quote, but that's the gist of how an ancient tradition from a distant part of the world backs up his findings. 

What I suspect Ben is getting at is what happens, or what could happen, or what we could make happen, during the periods of rest, and I bet also how we can expand those periods of rest.

I thought I would write more on this book, as I indicated in my first post about it, but it turned out to be... less spiritual than I anticipated.  I found myself questioning the trails the author was leaving, so when we came to the destinations, I couldn't quite be on board.  It's funny though, because I THINK I agree with what Bentov is getting at.  I knew what the book was about, and I thought that I already believed the conclusions of the theories he was about to explain.  It was almost as though instead of giving me a greater understanding of ideas I already believed, he made me have doubts.  I just thought he left gaping holes in explanations that were meant to remove question of the author's logic.

Bentov wants to give a metaphor for the intangible nature of understanding and believing the concepts in the book, concepts like the different levels of reality we experience, and those that exist even if we aren't aware of experiencing them, and concepts like reincarnation and manipulating our own place within the continuum of consciousness levels.  I think he wants to say that you have to have a leap of faith, but that if you make that leap, you can experience what he is talking about, and then believe it.  He uses this:

"Suppose that we show a bicycle to someone who has never seen one and try to convince him that it is a safe and practical conveyance.  He will think that we are joking since it is clear through observation that the bicycle is a highly unstable contraption.  Clearly, no amount of explaining will help, and only after learning how to ride it will our subject be convinced of the merits of the bicycle.  In other words, only after having gone through the subjective experience is he ready to start using the bicycle...  He recognizes that in his previous thinking he missed an important point, and that was the invisible principle of inertia that keeps the bicycle upright when in motion."
-Bentov, page 88-89

All I can think while reading this is that it would be very easy to ride the bike for him.  Or show him a child riding a bike.  Or show him a video.  Or ask him why the fuck he has never seen someone ride a bike.  Ahem.  Sorry.

Stalking the Wild Pendulum definitely has its good and inspiring points.  I love this part...

"...meaningful breakthroughs in science, art and technology come not by "figuring out" things to the nth degree but through intuitive leaps or insight, which are later rationalized.  ...when operating in uncharted territory, intuition is the only thing we can rely on.  Take as an example entrepreneurs.  In making decisions, these people rely to a great extent on intuition or "gut feeling," as they call it.  The reason for this is that the number of variables to be considered in each decision is just too great to handle, and with conditions constantly changing, it is simply impossible to figure things out completely.  So they rely on their intuitive input.  They will say that that decision "felt right," that they knew that things would work out for the best."

-Bentov, page 88

But even here in this passage he kills me again with the whole idea that "intuition [is the] only thing we can rely on."  Intuition is a great thing, but I'm sure there is a lot of intelligence that plays into discoveries.  It is not THE ONLY thing. 

I dropped the ball on the rest.

From Japan,

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