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Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 77 (The book stops)

November 10, 2019

This is really the end!

To the dozen or so people who have somehow managed to keep up with this entire series, my sincere thanks and sympathy. I couldn’t have done it without knowing someone was reading it.

I might do one more post summing it up, and as a spin off project I might write about some the deranged lunatic scammers who wrote blurbs for this book, as long as its fun. This post is pretty dull. It’s Lipton’s big finale, but he fluffs it. I’m sure he was leading up to say that each human is like one cell in the whole collective body of the earth and that by transforming ourselves we can save the earth, but just forgot to say it. He still manages to cram in a few more of his extraordinarily stupid comound errors and says some more very silly things. And of course, the example he presents to make his in fact demolishes the case but he is too stupid to realise it.

Now Lipton is going to try to prove that his “fractal evolution” not only occurs, but has more explanatory power than the neo-Darwinian modern synthesis (which includes Darwinian natural selection, plus population genetics). This will be difficult for Lipton. Every species on earth is a living example of tens of thousands if not millions of pieces of evidence for the modern synthesis, while for fractal evolution he hasn’t offered a single case, nor even said exactly what it is.

Nor for that matter has he said what evolution is — I spent more time explaining in the above parentheses than Lipton has said about it in the whole book, despite having babbled on endless about page after page, chapter after chapter. There is a reason for this omission — he doesn’t know what evolution is.

The exciting, esoteric world of fractal geometry…

Factual error. It’s not esoteric. Lipton thought it deals with “other dimensions” but it doesn’t and Lipton is a fool. It uses a different definition of “dimension” as noted by @sclmw in the comments to the previous post. As he points out (and as illustrated in the video he linked to, “fractals are a different way to describe dimensions where shapes can be defined as having a fractional number of dimensions.” (He has also written an informative article about how fractals are really used in geometry.)

Lipton’s sentence continues:

…[fractal geometry] provides a mathematical model that suggests that the “arbitrariness, planlessness, randomness, and accident” that Mayr wrote about is an outmoded concept.

This both a factual error and a deliberate lie, and I covered it in post 72. Lipton pulled the usual Creationist trick of cutting off the other half of the quote. Mayr in fact continued to explain why in fact it isn’t random at all.

In fact, I believe it is an idea that does not serve humanity and should, as rapidly as possible, go the way of the pre-Copernican Earth-centered Universe.

Again, Lipton still hasn’t noticed that natural selection involves selection, and thus is not random.

Once we realize that there are repeating, ordered patterns in Nature and evolution…

…which occur rarely and have nothing to do with fractal geometry except as an imperfect analogy….

….the lives of cells, which inspired this book and the changes in my life, become even more instructive.

Go on, Dr Bruce, tell us yet again why you’ve been inspired to live out your life your life like a bacterium.

For billions of years, cellular living systems have been carrying out an effective peace plan that enables them to enhance their survival as well as the survival of the other organisms in the biosphere.

Well that statement was pretty fucking goddam stupid, wasn’t it. Yes, he really thinks cells sat down and mapped out a peaceful survival plan using fractals and quantum physics while eschewing the neo-Darwinian modern synthesis.

Imagine a population of trillions of individuals living under one roof in a state of perpetual happiness.

I’ll cut half a page of rhetorical flourishes about the human body being exactly this population of happy cells.

This happy that Lipton keeps talking about is the “positive energy” of the law of attraction. It is also the reason that every single photo of Lipton that he has published shows him giggling in a strange and silly manner. Like all law of attraction fans, he thinks a good life is one where you are always just as happy as your liver cells are.

Clearly cellular communities work better than human communities— there are no left-out, “homeless” cells in our bodies.

Well go and join an ant colony then, Dr Bruce.

But for those who don’t want to be happy all the all the time, and who sometimes choose negativity, he has some terrifying news — CANCERRRRR!!!!!!!

Unless of course, our cellular communities are in profound disharmony causing some cells to withdraw from cooperating with the community. Cancers essentially represent homeless, jobless cells that are living off the other cells in the community.

Here’s a more accurate metaphor, Dr Lipton. Cancer cells are the ones who just don’t know when to shut up and switch themselves off. Just like you.

Then he veers off and recounts his idiotic version of the evolution of the cell — yet again. again. But this time he says that billions of years ago the cells started to run out of space, just like humans are today. He blabs on about this idea for half a page, crammed full of technical jargon, and then says this:

The end result was humans, at or near the top of the evolutionary ladder.

…Um, What? Read that again.

At or near the top of…??????????

Of course — if the non-existent evolutionary ladder exists, then it must also have some extra rungs!

And who will get there? Of course — it will be the gaggle of spiritual scammers depicted at the end of the previous post. But how will they get there?

Will it be by using Lipton’s fractal evolution?

Similarly, I believe that the stresses of the increasing human population will be responsible for pushing us up another rang on the evolutionary ladder.

How???

We will, I believe, come together in a global community.

How???

The members of that enlightened community will recognize that we are made in the image of our environment, i.e. that we are Divine…

What does that mean???

…and that we have to operate, not in a survival of the fittest manner, but in a way that supports everyone and everything on this planet.

How???

[New subheading] Survival of the Most Loving

How???

[Rhetorical question]…Isn’t Darwin right that violence is at the core of life?

Factual error. Darwin said no such thing. He studied the role of cooperation in evolution at great length. Lipton is 150 years out of date.

Isn’t violence the way of the natural world? What about all those documentaries that show animals stalking animals, animals snaring animals, animals killing animals?

Well that does actually happen, doesn’t it.

Don’t humans possess an inborn inclination to violence?

Yep, a primitive one, as well as a primitive inborn inclination to enjoy snuggling up to others and keeping warm. This really isn’t complicated, Dr Bruce.

The logic goes: Animals are violent, humans are animals, and therefore humans are violent.
No! Humans are not “stuck” with an innate, viciously competitive nature any more than we are stuck with genes that make us sick or make us violent.

Lipton is very excited about this. Modern evolutionary theory is wrong, and his fractal evolution is right! And he is going to prove it by babbling at great length about a study by primatologist Robert Sapolsky.

We can skip it entirely though, because the study accords perfectly with modern evolutionary theory. It also has nothing whatsoever to do with Lipton’s ‘fractal evolution’.

He babbles incoherently for several pages about genes, and then finally gets to some concrete advice for how you can improve your evolution:

Join communities of like-minded people who are working toward advancing human civilization by realizing that Survival of the Most Loving is the only ethic that will ensure not only a healthy personal life but also a healthy planet.

Ahhh, yes, I guess that would fix it, wouldn’t it. Well done Dr Lipton, it was quite a struggle, but you got there in the end.

Remember those under-prepared, under-appreciated Caribbean students who banded together, like the cells they studied in their histology course, to form a community of successful students? Use them as role models and you will help ensure a Hollywood ending not just for individuals mired in self-sabotaging beliefs, but also for this planet.

What???

A Hollywood ending???

My goodness, I wasn’t expecting such high-flown rhetoric, but we are almost at the end now. Time for one final piece of advice:

Use the intelligence of cells to propel humanity one more rung up the evolutionary ladder where the most loving do more than just survive, they thrive.

And that’s the end of the book.

Isn’t it….

No it isn’t there’s a fucking addendum, isn’t there! Lipton just keeps babbling for another 10 pages…. but I won’t cover it. It’s just a long advertising screed promoting Lipton’s mate Rob, who runs the Psych-K scam — that mind/body technology that Lipton probably got scammed into buying shares in. Maybe I will write something about this Rob character if he’s ridiculous enough.

The End…

…kinda… unless do do some kind of summing up, but that could easily turn into another dozen posts, so maybe I won’t.

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Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 76 (Spiritual supremacy & fractal eugenics)

November 3, 2019

Welcome to the — really — second last post in this series.

Along with Lipton’s constant attacks on Descartes, “genetic determinism”, and “Newtonian” biology, (each of which he gets more or less completely wrong), the other great opponent he repeatedly singles out is Charles Darwin — and of course he gets all the fundamentals of evolutionary theory completely wrong as well.

Well maybe that’s not entirely fair. He did manage to get one aspect of natural selection half right, but he attributed it to Lamarck instead of Darwin. And had Lamarck really believe it, it would have demolished the rest of Lamarck’s theory, (a theory to which Lipton still ascribes).

So now it’s Lipton’s turn to out-do Darwin and the whole of modern evolutionary theory. He is about to map out his own ideas.

Fractal Evolution— A Theory We Can Live With

And with that sub-heading, it’s clear that Lipton has already made made his first factual error.Creationists always make this one too. He thinks the “theory” of evolution means “speculation”. In fact in fact it is “theory” in the same way that aerodynamic theory is theory — it’s a body of knowledge with practical application.

I’ve explained why I am now a spiritual scientist. Now I’d like to explain why I am an optimist.

(Anyone feeling depressed about the current state of the world avert your eyes now!)

The story of evolution is, I believe, a story of repeating patterns.

And with that sentence Lipton has demonstrated that he really doesn’t have a clue what evolution is. The entire point of evolution is that patterns get replicated with occasional error. Without, there is no variation, no new species, and no evolution.

We are at a crisis point, but the planet has been here before. Evolution has been punctuated with upheavals, which virtually wiped out existing species, including the best-known casualties, the dinosaurs. Those upheavals were directly linked to environmental catastrophes just as today’s crisis is. As the human population increases, we are competing for space with the other organisms with whom we share the planet. But the good news is that similar pressures in the past have brought into being a new way of living, and will do so again.

Ok… I guess the change from T-Rex to battery chicken could be called a “new way of living”, but I don’t think T-Rex’s would see it as “better”.

We are concluding one evolutionary cycle and preparing to embark upon another.

Factual error. There’s no such thing as an “evolutionary cycle”. And even if there was, it would not include “evolutionarily” getting hit by a giant meteor.

As this cycle comes to an end…

Factual error. Lipton thinks evolution is somehow pre-programmed or designed, as well as all being about humans.

…people are becoming understandably apprehensive and alarmed by the failures in the structures that support civilization. I believe, however, that the “dinosaurs” that are currently raping Nature will become extinct.

Yes, Lipton really thinks that “the dinosaurs” brought about their own destruction by “raping Nature”, and thus somehow attracting that meteor. He believes in the ‘law of attraction’.

The survivors will be those who realize that our thoughtless ways are destructive to the planet and to us.

Does anyone at all have the faintest idea what he is talking about? How will these “dinosaurs” kill themselves without killing the rest of us?

How can I be so sure?

Yes — HOW????

And here is his answer:

My certitude comes from my study of fractal geometry.

Um….. What?

Here’s a definition of geometry, which will explain why it is important for studying the structure of our biosphere.

And he’s off on another copy-and-paste lecture note rant, blabbering on at some length about Euclidean geometry, before telling us he didn’t need to tell us all of that because–

…Euclidean geometry does not apply to Nature.

Factual error. Yes it does. Or it can. When Eratosthenes calculated the earth’s circumference in 276 BC, using a stick and measuring the length of its shadow on the same calendar day first in Athens and then in Alexandria, he was using, effectively, Euclidean geometry.

For example, you cannot map a tree, a cloud or a mountain using the mathematical formulas of this geometry.

What??? Of course you can. It would just get very complicated.

In Nature, most organic and inorganic structures display more irregular and chaotic-appearing patterns.

Exactly. Like I just said — it would get complex, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t map out their structures. It’s just a question of what kind of resolution you want to go to. It couldn’t show atoms, but at that level you can’t see the structure of a leaf or whatever, either.

And how would being able to do this save the world from catastrophe?????

These natural images can only be created by using the recently discovered mathematics called fractal geometry. French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot launched the field of fractal mathematics and geometry in 1975.

Ok, maybe that would make it easier, I guess, but remember — it doesn’t just have to be better: it has to kill off the bad guys and let the good ones live as well! I have no idea where he is going with this or why he is even talking about it.

Like quantum physics, fractal (fractional) geometry forces us to consider those irregular patterns, a quirkier world of curvy shapes and objects with more than three dimensions.

What???? What the fuck??? Name a natural (or even Natural) object that has more than three dimensions.

And as noted, curvy shapes are not too “quirky” for Euclidean geometry. Anyway, here is Lipton’s explanation of fractal geometry. I know nothing about math, so I won’t comment on it. (Comments are open for those who do!)

The mathematics of fractals is amazingly simple because you need only one equation, using only simple multiplication and addition. The same equation is then repeated ad infinitum. For example, the “Mandelbrot set” is based on the simple formula of taking a number, multiplying it by itself and then adding the original number. The result of that equation is then used as the input of the subsequent equation; the result of that equation is then used as the input for the next equation and so on. The challenge is that even though each equation follows the same formula, these equations must be repeated millions of times to actually visualize a fractal pattern. The manual labor and time needed to complete millions of equations prevented early mathematicians from recognizing the value of fractal geometry. With the advent of powerful computers Mandelbrot was able to define this new math.

Inherent in the geometry of fractals is the creation of ever-repeating, “self-similar” patterns nested within one another. You can get a rough idea of the repeating shapes by picturing the eternally popular toy, hand-painted Russian nesting dolls. Each smaller structure is a miniature, but not necessarily an exact version of the larger form.

Here’s a video explaining this a bit more clearly than Lipton does. But note that while it shows nice harmonious patterns developing….

Screen shot from video showing a “stable” fractal (Source: “Numberphile”, linked above)

….it also shows how with a mere flick of the wrist, these structures also explode catastrophically!

Screenshot from video showing an unstable fractal ‘exploding’

Fractal geometry emphasizes the relationship between the patterns in a whole structure and the patterns seen in parts of a structure. For example, the pattern of twigs on a branch resembles the pattern of limbs branching off the trunk.

Ok, nice. And?

The pattern of a major river looks like the patterns of its smaller tributaries. In the human lung, the fractal pattern of branching along the bronchus repeats in the smaller bronchioles. The arterial and venous blood vessels and the peripheral nervous system also display similar repeating patterns.

What’s the point here?

Are the repetitive images observed in Nature simply coincidence?

Oh for heaven’s sake. What about all the images that aren’t repetitive???

I believe the answer is definitely “no.”

Oh my god. This is just an ‘Argument from Design’ from Medieval theology.

To explain why I believe fractal geometry defines the structure of life, let’s revisit two points….

Um, no, let’s not. Let’s cut this short.

If you fool around with fractals like the guy in the video does, sometimes you come up with something that looks like a fern. In other words, it is analogous to a fern. All it means is that if you want to draw something that looks like a fern using a fancy mathematical program; or if you want to do some rough calculations about the growth rate of a fern, fractal geometry might help you a bit.

It doesn’t mean that nature follows the laws of geometry. That’s what Plato believed 2500 years ago.

But Lipton is going to push on.

First, the story of evolution is, as I’ve emphasized many times in this book, the story of ascension to higher awareness.

Factual error #1: emphasising that it “is” doesn’t make it so.
Factual error #2: as far as I can recall, he hasn’t made this claim even once in this book, let alone try to argue that it is!
Factual error #3: evolution is driven by selection acting upon variations within a population. It does not miraculously “ascend”.
Factual error #4: this idea is similar to but less sophisticated than the idea of Great Chain of Being or Scala naturae of Plato and Aristotle. The only people who support this kind of idea today are racists like David Duke and idiots like Bruce Lipton.

Second, in our study of the membrane, we defined the receptor-effector protein complex (IMPs) as the fundamental unit of awareness/ intelligence.

Indeed he did define it as that, but he initially put “intelligence” in inverted commas, and simply removed them, thus declaring the analogy real.

But go on, Dr Bruce.

Consequently, the more receptor-effector proteins (the olives in our bread and butter sandwich model) an organism possesses, the more awareness it can have and the higher it is on the evolutionary ladder.

This is just utter rubbish, even by Lipton’s own atrociously stupid standards. Ok, we can pretend cells can be “intelligent”. But that means that the cells themselves are all just as intelligent as each other. A liver cell in a mouse is not necessarily “more complex” than a liver cell in a human. This means that there is no “evolutionary ladder” among cells — neither in reality nor even in Lipton’s stupid version of reality.

However, there are physical restrictions for increasing the number of receptor-effector proteins that can be packed into the cell’s membrane….

And he’s off again on yet another cut-paste-lecture-note rant, with nanometers, phospholipid bilayers and Integral Membrane Proteins, and argues that cells needed to get bigger to “expand their awareness”. And that this is the point of evolution.

Evolution, the expansion of awareness, can then be physically defined by the increase of membrane surface area. Mathematical studies have found that fractal geometry is the best way to get the most surface area (membrane) within a three-dimensional space (cell). Therefore, evolution becomes a fractal affair.

Let’s restate that: in the one or two cases where evolution might have involved a fractal increase in the surface area of a membrane, fractal geometry might be useful for calculating that increase. In all the tens of billions of other cases, it isn’t.

Repeating patterns in Nature are a necessity, not a coincidence, of “fractal” evolution.

That sentence is both meaningless and ungrammatical. Clearly this is all getting too fractal for Lipton’s editor.

The strikingly beautiful, computer-generated pictures that illustrate fractal patterns should remind us that, despite our modem angst and the seeming chaos of our world, there is order in Nature and there is nothing truly new under the sun.

But what about the way patterns explode? Maybe when the sun finally explodes that will also be fractal, but it doesn’t give me hope or mean that God designed it.

And then, incredibly, unexpectedly, Lipton states specifically the reason why he has been babbling on about all this, and why it gives him hope.

Evolution’s repetitive, fractal patterns allow us to predict that humans will figure out how to expand their consciousness…

Well, it has been said that a cauliflower is a cabbage with a college education.

…in order to climb another rung of the evolutionary ladder.

And what will this super-race look like? Believe it or not, a rather odd bunch of spiritual supremacist con-men think this race already exists! Let me introduce to you your new spiritual over-lords!

The Golden Future: Evolutionary Leaders (Lipton top centre right)

Yes, they really believe they are “more highly evolved” than you are.

 

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Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 75 (Lipton’s analogy demolishes his own case yet again)

October 27, 2019

Only three more posts to go in this series. I know I said that about 6 posts ago, but I mean it this time! All that’s left is some loose ends to tie up about how to get yourself reincarnated as a TV set; to be followed next time by trashing the last of Lipton’s many copy-and-paste lecture-notes-rants; and then finally dealing with some product-placement and cross-promotion he tacks on at the end of the book. on. And then we’re done!

But for now, Lipton is still hypothetically dead and trying to get himself reincarnated.

One of the repetitive themes of this book is how horrible it was of Rene Descartes in 1650 to say the body is a machine, and his accusation that modern biology is simply a continuation of that idea.

But then Lipton himself suddenly tells people to conceive of their own body as a television set!

For Descartes the soul had the qualities of being rational and immortal. For Lipton the soul is analogous to the single anonymous wavelength of a TV broadcast.

For Descartes the soul communicated with the brain by connecting with the pineal gland by means of a highly complicated anatomy, which turned out to be pure fantasy — which instantly sunk his entire theory. Had he studied the available anatomy books more closely, he would have instantly seen his error.

For Lipton the soul communicates with the body via “identity receptors” embedded in the cell membrane, which work like a TV antenna, and “download” the self into each of our 37.2 trillion cells. These are likewise pure fantasy, and likewise has immediately sunk his entire theory. But unlike Descartes, Lipton has a Ph.D. in cell biology, access to electron microscopes and all of modern technology, and also 450 more years of biological research than Descartes had. And yet he has made exactly the same kind of mistake.

And he hasn’t realised it.

Surprisingly though, Lipton does realise in the next page or two that his analogy of the body as a TV set is problematic. He introduced the idea that organs transplanted from one body to another continue to “download” memories and habitual behaviours from the soul(/TV broadcast) of the donor, and transmit these to the recipient.

The reported cases are of course entirely spurious — so recipients of pig heart valves need not worry about unusual behavioural changes. But the claim raises a problem for Lipton’s TV set = body analogy, because TV sets don’t “upload” the TV’s personal experiences and send them back to the TV station for storage.

To be fair, Lipton admits it:

While the TV analogy is useful, it is not a complete one because a television is only a playback device.

We haven’t quite gotten to the part where he says the above quote yet, but we can note it in advance. And we can ignore the routine factual error (of course it’s not a ‘playback device’) and note that this is an important problem for Lipton to solve. There’s a lot riding on this analogy. He’s using it to explain the (non-existent) transference of memories from a transplanted organ to the recipient, which he in turn uses as a “model” for immortality and reincarnation…. Which in turn seems to be an important aspect of his cancer quackery– you don’t really die; and you get a new body.

Even though the body of the person who donated the organs is dead, their broadcast is still on. They are, as I realized in my flash of insight while mulling over the mechanics of the cellular membrane— immortal, as I believe we all are. Cells and organ transplants offer a model not only for immortality but also for reincarnation.

He returns to his idea that the thing that makes a recipient’s body accept or reject a transplanted organ also “download” the soul of a person and all their memories and behaviours in the cell.

….Yes — Lipton thinks your soul is downloaded into each of the 37.2 trillion cells in your body. And each cell not only receives all of your memories and behaviours, but it can also transmit these back up to your brain. Remember that he thinks the brain connects directly to each of the 37.2 trillion cells in the body.

Ok, let’s grant him that the “identity receptors” do exist, and they do download (and upload) his soul and all its contents.

This means that if someone kindly donates a kidney to someone else, then part of the donor’s self will now be squished inside the recipient’s body, and will sit there, transmitting the contents of the donor’s soul to the recipient, and also uploading new information from the recipient to the donor’s soul(TV station).

And that proves reincarnation.

….Because….

Consider the possibility that an embryo in the future displays the same set of identity receptors that I now possess. That embryo will be tuned into my “self.”

……….Ummm…………… Ok. We’ve granted that the non-existent “identity receptors” do exist, and the soul is an entity that is simple enough to be picked up by them, if they are correctly tuned, and that this is such a simple process that organ donors also donate access to their soul as well the use of their heart kidney or pig’s heart and soul.

And now we are banking on the possibility that if an identical set of these (non-existent) “identity receptors” arise by pure chance, then…..

My identity is back but playing through a different body.

There are currently nearly 8 billion human bodies alive on earth today. The chance of one of them being capable of downloading the soul of Bruce Lipton is at the very least one in 8 billion.

If it was lower, then there would be cases of the same soul inhabiting two bodies, which thankfully doesn’t happen.

So Lipton has just demonstrated your *best possible* chance of getting reincarnated is one in 8 billion.

And that’s ignoring the fact that the mechanism that has to spontaneously generate for it doesn’t exist. …As I mentioned last time, Lipton’s analogies have not been kind to him so far in this book.

Sexism and racism become ridiculous as well as immoral when you realize that your receptors could wind up on a white person, a black person, an Asian, or a male or female.

Great, but what if they wind up on a sea slug?

Because the environment represents “All That Is” (God) and our self-receptor antennas download only a narrow band of the whole spectrum, we all represent a small part of the whole… a small part of God.

Christ almighty. He even fails at theology. “God” isn’t eternal and infinite, but so limited that He has to broadcast re-runs.

Another new Subheading appears out of nowhere.

Earth Landers

This is where he deals with the problem that TV sets don’t upload the TV’s thoughts and behaviours. He suggests another analogy:

So a more complete way of understanding our relationship to Spirit is to compare a human to the Martian rovers “Spirit” and “Opportunity” or the other NASA landers we have sent to the Moon and Mars.

This is just pure laziness from Lipton. Why the heck didn’t he just go with this analogy from the start? Anyway, he blithers on about the Mars rover for a while, explaining how it too has “senses”, but can also upload information and send it back to earth(/the soul). Thus:

You and I are like “Earth landers” who receive information from an environmental controller/Spirit. As we live our lives, the experiences of our world are sent back to that controller, our Spirit.

An “environmental controller/Spirit”.

So this is what Lipton means when he’s been saying “the environment” controls genes. Isn’t it?

But then the whole thing is dependent on your “identity receptors” getting replicated and attached to something in the first place. Then your genes — which according to Lipton must only carry the very basic outline of the body — don’t influence your character at all.

But in his excitement about epigenetics, he’s been constantly saying that the *thoughts of our parents* are also “the environment”, and they do affect our genes!

Then he adds Karma to the growing list of things that “identity receptors” receive and transmit:

So the character of how you live your life influences the character of your “self.” This interaction corresponds to the concept of karma.

…And this must also change the “identity receptors” themselves too, if it “changes the character of your “self”“. This is not going well for Lipton, but he blabbers on obliviously.

In the end, these cellular insights serve to emphasize the wisdom of spiritual teachers throughout the ages.

“Cellular insights”? What is he talking about? And whatever they are, they have nothing whatsoever in common with any spiritual tradition whatsoever. Then he suddenly blurts this out:

Each of us is a spirit in material form.

Hang on. What???? We’re a fucking Mars rover or a TV set. The only thing that makes us our “self” is some little non-existent antennas on our cells. On that model we are very clearly not “spirit in material form”.

Anyway, he’s done with TV sets and Mars rovers now. He’s going to try yet another analogy and see where it gets him.

A powerful image for this spiritual truth is the way light interacts with a prism.

No, that isn’t a powerful image for that “spiritual truth”. It’s not even in the same ball park. A prism is not light in material form. It’s fundamentally different from it. But there’s no stopping him now.

When a beam of white light goes through a prism, the prism’s crystalline structure diffracts the exiting light so that it appears as a rainbow spectrum.

Factual error. It refracts, not diffracts. (I spotted that all by myself! Yay!)

Lipton gives a garbled and totally inaccurate version of this phenomenon:

Each color, though a component of the white light, is seen separately because of its unique frequency. If you reverse this process by projecting a rainbow spectrum through the crystal, the individual frequencies will recombine, forming a beam of white light.

And then tries to relate it back to God and “identity receptors”:

Think of each human being’s identity as an individual color frequency within the rainbow spectrum.

So now the body is a prism and it separates out your unique wavelength/identity.

If we arbitrarily eliminate a specific frequency, a color, because we don’t “like it,” and then try to put the remaining frequencies back through the prism, the exiting beam will no longer be white light. By definition, white light is composed of all of the frequencies.

What on earth is this man talking about?

Many spiritual people anticipate the return of White Light to the planet. They imagine that it will come in the form of a unique individual like Buddha, Jesus or Muhammad.

Um, dude, in none of the multitude of versions of Islam is Mohammad coming back.

However, from my newly acquired spirituality, I see that White Light will only return to the planet when every human being recognizes every other human being as an individual frequency of the White Light.

Somehow he’s gotten from organ transplants to this. I don’t know how, and neither does he.

He keeps on babbling until he gets to the end of the section. The next sub-heading starts in the next post. We are on page 193.

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Aristotle’s Peaceful Non-Christian God

October 25, 2019

The Christian God is derived of course not only from biblical scripture, but also from Plato.

But theologians also borrowed (along with an entire cosmology) some terminology from Aristotle: ‘unmoved mover’ and ‘first cause’, among many others. But they explicitly and vehemently rejected Aristotle’s notion of God.

Islamic portrayal of Aristotle, 1220 (partly damaged)

They didn’t like it that, unlike Plato’s God, the god of Aristotle did not create the universe. This is a needless abdication of power. Christians are supposed to feel infinitely subordinate to God and irreversibly indebted to Him as well. That’s an easier place to get to theologically (i.e. politically), if you can say that God created us, and that we are thus his property.

Aristotle thought the earth and the heavens had simply always been there: the spherical earth at the centre of the universe; the heavens slowly turning above, in an unchanging and unbroken circle. The animals, a category to which humans also belong, live out their lives as their predecessors always have done, beautifully attuned to their respective habitats.

For Plato, the demiurge created tiny geometric particles and shared out some creative tasks to lesser deities, who did the best they could to create a world out of this rather unforgiving material. All they could do though was to create a pale and unsatisfying copy of the divine master plan: the eternal “Forms” that are the immaterial true essence of the various things in the universe. Our world, according to Plato is a realm of shadows and imperfection.

This accorded well with Christianity, as did the path to “true knowledge” that Plato installed in this model as well. Only by revelation can knowledge be gained. His famous simile of the cave has a prisoner who has only seen shadows, led out into the light to see real things themselves. As with Christian revelation, knowledge gained in this manner grants the knower a special status. Better still, the knowledge itself is invulnerable to criticism as well as to revision. Its more baffling aspects can be “interpreted” by a priesthood, who attain special and unquestionable special status, which can be maintained as long as they maintain a grip on political power.

The Great Chain of Being: Christian cosmology based on Aristotle, 1579. (Source)

For Aristotle, the world was worth knowing about in itself. While Christianity indeed adopted his cosmology (with the heavens above, eternal and unchanging, and the realm of change below — the sub-lunary realm), the Church added Plato’s Creator-God into the mix. Thus it reintroduced what Aristotle had explicitly rejected in Plato: a beginning, a Creator, and the Forms.

While the heavens were for Aristotle governed by different laws (of circular motion) and consisting of different stuff (a fifth element, the quintessence), they weren’t separated by the same gulf as with Plato and Christianity. Knowledge of the world is genuine knowledge,m for Aristotle, whereas for Plato and the Church, true knowledge can only come from revelation.

In a way, Aristotle drew the invisible Forms of Plato a few steps closer to earth. That same wonder Plato invoked for a revelation of the Forms (and Christianity invokes for the presence of God), was for Aristotle the same thing we all feel when we gaze at the stars.

The encounter between reason and revelation, that has occupied theologians for so long, is, in Aristotle, simply the encounter between reason and reality as we perceive it.

Plato’s somewhat intolerant impatience for the natural sciences, which says ‘Ok, you can study that stuff, but ultimately who cares?‘ is the most enlightened position on scientific inquiry that theology has ever come up with. Tolerant theologians have always seen it as the study of the works of the Creator. Some have even granted that it might possibly be a “path to the divine”, though always with a cautious glance over their shoulder. It is always, however, seen as a circuitous and unreliable route to take.

They accept the reasoning that if God created the world, then to study the world is to study the works of the Creator… but that “IF” is barely audible, and usually surgically removed before it can do any further damage. The most liberal modern theologians are prepared to accept free inquiry, but always with one hand resting on the handbrake.

But for Aristotle, with no Creator-God, there is also no fear of disproof or disappointment; no burden of assumptions, and no big stick for any priest to wield.

“Humans”, as Aristotle said, “by their nature desire to know.”

The soul dies with the body, according to Aristotle, although he did see consciousness in a de-personalised sense continuing somehow. Prayer also went out the window for Aristotle. He saw it not only as useless but, under his conception of God, also impossible and pointless. And he said so. (And yes, he did spend his final years in exile.)

Not that he said people shouldn’t pray, but rather, that if they do, God won’t hear it, because he doesn’t love us, doesn’t care and doesn’t even know we exist.

Aristotle’s Metaphysics Book 7, translated by William of Moerbeke c. 1250 (source)

This is a horrifying thought not only for those who find solace in prayer, but also for the priesthood. Prayer is the currency of Christian theology. It’s a “thing” that people can “do”, can even be seen “doing”, can be told to “do”, and can say they’ve “done”. It’s a way that guilt can be resolved, that one can feel one’s own status has been raised, and one can feel a connection to one’s God. Above all, it confirms and reinforces the submissive, subordinate relationship that a believer has not only to their God, but — most importantly for the purposes of this piece of writing — to their priesthood.

So Aristotle’s God didn’t create anything, doesn’t answer prayers, doesn’t grant absolute knowledge through revelation, doesn’t keep the universe ticking over in some mysterious way, doesn’t reveal Himself unexpectedly to people or impregnate virgins or appear in human form. He also doesn’t perform miracles, sit in judgment, or grant any person eternal life.

What’s left then?

There are two aspects to that.

The first is that Aristotle’s God touches people and moves people. But not in the active sense of reaching out; rather in the passive sense: in the same way as people are “touched” by a work of art or “moved” by the beauty of nature. (The language is Aristotle’s.) The things of the natural world — the animals, the plants, even rocks and minerals — embody their closeness to the divine in the form they take. Aristotle saw a great hierarchy, a scala naturae, as it was called by the Christian theologians who embraced this idea, from the lowliest worm to the pinnacle of this great pyramid — humans, of course.

This particular idea — the Great Chain of Being — though it survived the destruction that Galileo and Newton wrought on Aristotle’s cosmology, did not survive Darwin. there is no grand hierarchy. Living organisms are adapted to their particular habitat, not to any kind of absolute or external hierarchy. (This is too rarely emphasised. Darwin didn’t just demolish creationism; he also dismantled the idea that the differences between species — and more importantly races — are of no intrinsic significance or value. They are related to habitat and chance mutation, and are not marks left by a divine Creator.)

Darwin’s conception of species branching out from a common origin, c. 1837

The second (and final) aspect is Aristotle’s consideration of what exactly God is and what it does.

God, according to Aristotle, thinks. He thinks about thinking. Or if I may risk a little pseudo-Buddhist supposition about what Aristotle is referring to, God is conscious awareness that is aware of itself. It contemplates its own awareness. (Maybe meditators will have a clue what I’m babbling about, and maybe it even means something.)

For Aristotle, it is good to be aware of the objects of the world — the search for knowledge is intrinsically good. But it requires an effort to “possess” the things of the world in one’s mind. You have have to go outside yourself to do it. But for awareness to simply be aware of itself, it takes no energy. Or maybe to today we might speculate that it takes less to be simply aware of awareness itself, relatively untroubled by the distractions of sensory input.

I’m not claiming necessarily that this kind of thing is psychological possible, but there’s the kernel of an idea there that I think is similar to the ideas found in Zen Buddhism, and also — I think — able to explored for oneself.

Whatever the case, Aristotle, as much as he valued scientific inquiry — and he did value as highly as anyone and in fact founded a genuine science of biology — he also saw conscious awareness itself as divine.

This happy state does not involve the endless prattling inner dialogue of ‘normal’ thought; not does it passively fall asleep. It is aware, but it doesn’t actually do anything. Awareness just is, ultimately. (Perhaps.)

Thought, Aristotle says, “seems to contain” what he calls the “divine element” (yep, that term also comes from him). And “the act of contemplation is what is most pleasant and best. If, then, God is always in that good state in which we sometimes are, this compels our wonder…”

And life also belongs to God because the actuality of thought is life, and God is that actuality; and God’s self-dependent actuality is is life most good and eternal.

If that sounds like cheap theology, it’s partly because his rather pedestrian lecture notes are all we have on this, and also because it’s exactly the style theologians try to emulate. (The passage is from the Metaphysics, Bk 7, Ch 7.)

Whatever the case, and whatever Aristotle means by all this, it is clear that this “God” is not the Christian God. It doesn’t confer privileges on one class of people over another, nor does it claim it will rescue you or your soul. Nor will it even so much as raise an eyebrow at our private antics.

It’s just aware. A silent, non-judging witness.

Aristotle as portrayed by the Germans, 1520 (don’t ask)

Posted by Yakaru

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Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 74 (Reincarnation as a cancer cure)

October 18, 2019

I really don’t whether Lipton really means to offer reincarnation as a cancer cure or not. What is clear is that he is advising his readers that death is really not such a big problem as everyone makes out. That is the attitude he expressed in the previous post.

Usually, when an author takes readers on a guided visualisation, they don’t suddenly spring on them an imagined experience of their physical death. But that is exactly what we saw Lipton do last time. He gave readers an analogy, whereby they were to consider their body a television set, with their “self” is the image on the screen. Next they were to imagine waking up one morning and finding their body dead. But no worries — the analogy would rescue them.

This is a stupid move at the best of times, but then he completely and utterly screwed up the analogy that was supposed to rescue them.

One of the strangest errors here was that half way through it he forgot that the TV set was supposed to be “the human body” and said instead that it was “the cell”. Okay, so now it’s only one cell that has died — not so bad. But then the human body is 37.2 trillion TV sets, and not one. And your “self” appears on every single one of them.

Then he switched back to the whole body being one TV set — and his readers are back to being dead again, and hoping for the analogy to rescue them. Which of course, it doesn’t. Lipton says that “you” are not the TV but the broadcast. But “you” think you’re the TV, because of your Newtonian dogmatism.

So the broadcast is “still present” in the environment, regardless of whether the TV is working or not.

Just as in the TV analogy, if my body dies and in the future a new individual (biological “television set”) is born who has the same exact set of identity receptors, that new individual will be downloading “me.” I will once again be present in the world.

That sentence, as it stands is — wonder of wonders — accurate, in the context. IF a new individual is born “with exactly the same set of identity receptors” then, yes, Lipton Mark II would indeed be among us again. And here’s the good news, if NOT, then no Lipton Mark II. The bad news: same for “you”: especially bad for those of Lipton’s readers wanting help curing their cancer.

Only Lipton could attempt to prove the existence of reincarnation by trying to cross the lowest possible bar, (by asserting that because an analogy can be made, it must be true), and then have the analogy blow up in his face.

But as always with Lipton, there are other problems. Lipton has a gift for these compound errors…. My god, how to unpack all this?

The “identity receptors” that Lipton claims are present in each cell, analogous to a TV antenna, don’t exist. So there is even less chance of an identical collection of them spontaneously being replicated in a fetus at the appropriate time. And that’s a good thing — imagine what would happen if this happened before the original was dead? What’s more, the idea that “identity receptors” could be replicated destroys something far more valuable even than eternal life: the uniqueness of each individual.

Anyway, this is Lipton’s view of the the human soul. It’s a broadcast that is always being transmitted — somehow, he doesn’t say how — into “the environment” until it is picked up by the appropriately tuned “self receptors”. No, not picked up, but “downloaded”.

Supporting evidence for my belief that an individual’s broadcast is still present even after death…

And of course, Lipton’s supporting evidence” is going to ruin the whole mess even more, and he won’t even notice.

….comes from transplant patients who report that along with their new organs come behavioral and psychological changes.

He cites the example of someone who had a heart transplant, and then started eating chicken nuggets, drinking beer and riding a motorbike. Of course, this is because the heart came from an 18 year old man who like beer and chicken nuggets and died in a motorbike crash… and who now finds part of his self suddenly existing again inside the rib cage of a middle aged woman. Such a comforting thought.

The accuracy of memories that accompany these transplants is beyond chance or coincidence.

Factual error. No they’re not.

One young girl began having nightmares of murder after her heart transplant. Her dreams were so vivid that they led to the capture of the murderer who killed her donor.

This is all powerful evidence for the science of the New Biology that Lipton is founding with this book. Or it would be if he provided the evidence, which sadly for the would-be practitioners of this New Science, he forgets to do.

It is worth pointing out too, that IF this evidence turns out to be bogus, then that means that organ transplants prove the exact opposite: that cells are interchangeable and not bound up with an individual person. According to this site, there are about 136,000 organs donated each year, so that must mean at least a million new cases of organ-transplant memories since Lipton wrote this book, and it would be a normal part of medical practice to deal with the phenomenon.

But for Lipton it’s real, and all that remains is to speculate about how it all works. He offers up the existence of “cellular memory” — introduced as always within a protective casing of inverted commas, which will be surgically removed once the notion has been established.

One theory about how these new behaviors become implanted into the transplant recipient along with the organ is “cellular memory,” i.e. the notion that somehow memories are embedded in cells.

What is going on here? The cells not only “download” the self with their (non-existent) “self receptors”, but they also somehow also record the memories that are stored among the 300 trillion neuronal connections in the brain.

In other words, as well as doing all the work of, say, a muscle cell in the left ventricle of the heart, that cell also has “self receptors” that not only “download” the “self” of that person, that cell also records *all* the experiences, thoughts, emotions, memories, fantasies, dreams and behaviours of that person — all while obeying its orders from the brain to ‘now, pump…now, pump… now, pump…” — because, remember the brain also has a direct line of communication to every cell in the body and can get it to change at will.

Okay, reading further, I realise I have that wrong. I’ve heard so much from creepy New Age healers in the past, that I thought Lipton was going to go down that path too. But he isn’t. And I will admit my error and let Lipton himself chastise me for it:

Yes, cells can “remember” that they are muscle cells or liver cells, but there is a limit to their intelligence. I do not believe cells are physically endowed with perception mechanisms that can distinguish and remember a taste for chicken nuggets!

Ok, so no cellular memory!

Wow. All you cellular memory healers out there, Dr Bruce Lipton Ph.D. dismisses your claims!!!

A quick search reveals this guy, “Dr” Alexander Lloyd, who bases his whole theory of health and illness on cellular memory. He likens cell memories to signals sent out by cell phones, which send these signals to the hypothalamus, whereupon a fear response closes down the cell. He says “If the cell remains in this closed state long enough, the odds skyrocket that it will unmask a disease gene….” Well Lipton would set him right on that. Cells don’t broadcast, rather they download!

Lloyd continues: “…In fact, Dr. Bruce Lipton says that this is the only way you can have a disease manifest in your life.”

This really is a microcosm of the whole massive scam. They cross-promote each other without even realise they hold completely contradictory views, even by their own hilariously stupid standards.

….Anyway, Lipton just cited two cases and two whole books arguing that “the accuracy of memories that accompany these transplants is beyond chance or coincidence.” How does it happen then?

Psychological and behavioral memory does make sense if we realize that the transplanted organs still bear the original identity receptors of the donor and are apparently still downloading that same environmental information.

“…if we realise…”?????

He means “if we agree for no reason…”

Even though the body of the person who donated the organs is dead, their broadcast is still on.

Well that’s almost what I just accused him of saying, except that the it’s even stupider. Instead of the cells storing the memories, they just “download” them from a central memory bank. But how did those memories get uploaded to the bank? And how do those memories then get transplanted into your immortal “self”????

The TV set which is your body, is now responsible for uploading your thoughts and memories and behavioural habits to the TV station!!!

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What Spiritual People Don’t Understand About Science: Part 9 — Biologists don’t think animals are machines

October 12, 2019

Along with blind and mysterious attacks on Charles Darwin, (to be covered soon in this series) a common accusation leveled by spiritual teachers against biologists is that they conceive of living organisms as machines.

I’ve already covered Rupert Sheldrake doing this (here), but pretty much every spiritual teacher who claims to be in some measure “scientific” will inform their audience that about 400 years ago Rene Descartes declared that animals are nothing more than a collection of levers, pulleys, and other mechanisms, who clunk and ratchet about until they stop functioning.

It is true that Descartes presented physiology in these terms. He really did think that just as the difference between a rock and a clock is simply a matter of complexity, so too is the difference between a clock and a dog. For Descartes, a dog was no more “alive” than a clock. Nor for him did a dog any more have an inner life than would a clock.

Descartes granted humans, uniquely, a soul. This non-physical, immaterial soul grants consciousness to the human body, and can reach down into the brain and steer the body about, guiding its movements and actions. In itself this idea was not an entirely new notion: previous thinkers (Galen, for example) thought the soul inhabited the ventricles, the several empty channels that run through the brain. But Descartes decided that the pineal gland, as it was a single structure in the centre of the brain, unpaired like many other recognisable structures on either hemisphere, was the “seat of the soul”.

This conception raised a number of problems, all of which were raised at the time.

Where did all this complexity come from? Descartes said God designed it, built it, wound it up and set it off running. God then withdrew and watched the various components clunk out their fate, with only humans able to choose a non-determined path.

What exactly is life? Many animals do unmistakably appear to have an inner life. Descartes simply ignored this. As the biologist Ernst Mayr wrote in 1982:

[Descartes’] proposal to reduce organisms to a class of automata had the unfortunate consequence of offending every biologist who had even the slightest understanding of organisms. Descartes’s crass mechanism encountered, therefore, violent opposition…

Here we come across the first problem with the claim by spiritual teachers that modern biology is simply an extension of Descartes; that biologists simply took Descartes’ assumptions and ran with them. According to Sheldrake, Mayr should be reporting that Descartes was right, and his ideas were immediately accepted.

Instead, we find that many of the objections that spiritual teachers raise against Descartes today are not devastating criticisms to which modern biology has no answer. In fact, exactly the same objections were raised by biologistsas soon as Descartes published his work.

And now it gets weird. Because some of Descartes’ ideas that were roundly criticised, disproven and discarded by biology were in fact adopted by various spiritual traditions. Embarrassingly for any spiritual person who realises this, these ideas are still being promoted today, by the very same spiritual teachers who have built their career on their attacks on Descartes.

Even more embarrassingly for them, it leads them to make exactly the same mistakes that Descartes made: errors that were already cleared up 450 years ago! And then they wonder why biologists today get a little impatient with them when they indignantly trot these same ideas out as being “answers to the questions biologists refuse to ask.”

The pineal gland as the seat of the soul was kept alive somehow until Helene Blavatsky picked it up and stuck it into Theosophy, cobbled together in the late 1800s out of Christian mysticism and some stuff skimmed off from Hindu scriptures. It can still be found in New Age teachings today, still associated with the 6th Chakra, Ajna, or “third eye”. But where in yogic traditions this “Chakra” is analogous to the ability to visualise, the idea that it’s the pineal gland that does this is obviously stupid, as we now know that it’s a gland.

But Descartes should have known he was wrong about the pineal gland at the time he wrote about it. He argued that it is suspended on very fine fibres and that it can somehow vibrate in accordance with the subtle winds of the spirit, that everything else in the physical world is oblivious to; and that only humans have it. Had he been a more careful anatomist, he would have seen for himself that these fibres don’t exist, and had he checked with other anatomists, they could have told him this. And the pineal had already been found in animals as well.

The next problem that was solved hundreds of years ago, but which spiritual teachers still haven’t caught up with is a more serious one: Descartes’ theory of matter.

Descartes conceived of matter as consisting of tiny inert particles. According to him, these are like tiny oddly shaped billiard balls, whose interactions are determined by their shape. It was God, the unmoved mover, who set the grand clockwork in motion.

According to spiritual teachers, biologists still believe this, only without God. And where, these teachers indignantly ask, does the complexity of life come from? Ha! Biologists have no answer.

As Rupert Sheldrake says, claiming that no one knows how mushrooms grow:

How on earth did these separate threads know what to do? They’re all [chemically] the same to start with, but some form the cap, some form the gills, some form the stem, some form the membrane at the top. How on earth did these cells know what to do, to harmoniously coordinate with the rest?

Different parts of a plant–

have completely different structures and yet they have the same veins and the same chemicals, so the chemicals alone can’t explain it.

Yep, those little inert billiard balls can’t organise themselves, can they? Biologists, according to Sheldrake, simply refuse to consider this issue because they know they have no answer.

Unfortunately for Sheldrake and his multitude of colleagues, botanists don’t have a nervous breakdown at the sight of a mushroom. And while embryologists no doubt feel wonder and awe (and maybe a bit of shock too underneath it all) watching an embryo develop, they don’t lose any sleep over what to say if a student confronts them with a Sheldrakean question.

There are two developments that Sheldrake and all the rest have missed out on. One is chemistry. The only people today who use Descartes’ ideas on chemistry are Sheldrake, Lipton, Chopra, and all the rest. Any spiritual teacher who says “it can’t just be random chance” is in fact a follower of Cartesian chemistry — which was unpopular in the 1600s, and completely discarded by science due not only to Newton (which spiritual teachers today don’t realise — gravitational theory is anti-Cartesian), but also in part to alchemy.

Yes, alchemy. Alchemy contained the notion that particles, whatever they, are not inert; rather they are dynamic thingies, have more properties than shape and react to each other in more dynamic ways than simply bouncing off each other, as Sheldrake thinks they do.

This means that where Sheldrake thinks that atoms must need a (supernatural) “higher organising principle”, Paracelsus could have told him in 1450 that the elements can organise themselves in highly complicated ways. Such ideas were transformed into the foundations of modern chemistry by Robert Boyle and others, shortly after Descartes’ time. This in turn revolutionised biology.

(Paracelsus also conceived of the human body as a kind of alchemical lab, where chemical reactions occur — an important contribution to biology. Spiritual teachers still like Paracelsus, but his actual contributions to science have of course dropped off their radar.)

But chemistry alone indeed “can’t explain it”, as Sheldrake notes. But what he hasn’t noticed is that biology is a separate subject to chemistry. Although laws of physics and chemistry are the basis for biology, biology is above all a study of systems. Evolution, for example, wasn’t discovered by going into more and more detail, but rather by taking a step back and looking at how the whole thing functions. Evolutionary theory looks at the various processes by which diversity and complexity arise. Common descent demonstrates that life is indeed one. You might call it “holistic”. But for some reason, spiritual teachers won’t have a bar of it.

Biology freed itself from the conception of matter as inert billiard balls, but modern spirituality hasn’t. And it never will, because that would ruin everything. Inert billiard balls need “higher powers” to organise them. “Inanimate” matter needs a vital force, an energy, to animate it, otherwise life itself is impossible. And the distinction between animate and inanimate is built squarely on a foundation of inert billiard balls.

And this holds the door open for “quantum physics” to come to the rescue, with its “energy”, which can be renamed a life force, which can then organise all those little billiard balls.

But it’s too late. Biology has already explained all this and has moved on. That’s why biology has progressed, and spiritual teachers are still stuck in their dumbed-down version of the science of the 1600s.

Posted by Yakaru

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Bruce Lipton’s ‘Biology of Belief’ – Annotated With Facts: Part 73 (Dr Lipton talks to us about death)

September 22, 2019

We’re in the epilogue.

Lipton actually knows what an epilogue is (even if he can’t decide whether or not to capitalise it or treat it as a separate chapter rather than a subheading). He even told his readers what an epilogue is: An epilogue is generally a short section at the end of the work that details the fate of its character… in this case moi.”

But then he starts introducing new material — which doesn’t belong in an epilogue at all does it, Dr Lipton. You know that — remember?

So now, in the middle of the epilogue, he suddenly starts talking about human leukocytic antigens. Why? Because they are some kind of coating on certain proteins in the immune system. They detect foreign substances and reject them. They were discovered by researchers trying to figure out why some organ transplants don’t work — these are the things involved in rejecting an organ transplant.

Ok, but what has that got to do with anything?

Well, Lipton wants to make it clear to his readers that all humans are unique. Ok, but I learned that on Sesame Street. Why use something as complicated as human leukocytic antigens — of which absolutely none of his readers have ever heard — to explain such an obvious point?

Well, because he thinks that human leukocytic antigens….. Um…. Well…. Um….. I’d better let him explain it….

He treats his readers to yet another burst of copy-and-paste lecture babbling:

A well-studied subset of these receptors, called self-receptors or human leukocytic antigens (HLA), are related to the functions of the immune system. If your self-receptors were to be removed, your cells would no longer reflect your identity.

He blabs on about all this for another page and half, until he gets to the point:

So far scientists have never found two individuals who are biologically the same.

Lipton is very excited about this revelation. He babbles about it some more until he reveals a further revelation.

While scientists have focused on the nature of these immune-related receptors….

Bah– those dogmatic fools!

…it is important to note that it is not the protein receptors, but what activates the receptors that give individuals their identity.

Um….. Nope. And Nope, And WTF????

What is he doing? Is he saying that human leukocytic antigens give humans their sense of self?

No. No, he isn’t saying that. Rather he is saying that scientists, because of their materialistic Newtonian bias, believe that. Which they don’t. Of course they don’t. They do not.

Nevertheless, Lipton ascribes that belief to them, and then sets out in his usual brilliant fashion to refute that non-existent belief.

Each cell’s unique set of identity receptors are located on the membrane’s outer surface, where they act as “antennas,” downloading complementary environmental signals.

Factual error. What happens here is chemical reactions and not information transfer.

This is an important distinction, and Lipton, with a Ph.D in biology, should know it, and know that he needed to apply it here. But he didn’t. And it will derail the train-wreck he is attempting to pull off. (Trust me– that apparently clumsy wording is intended.)

These identity receptors read a signal of “self,” which does not exist within the cell but comes to it from the external environmental.

Factual error. Completely wrong. And they’re not identity receptors either.

As Wikipedia puts it: The immune system uses the HLAs to differentiate self cells [recognised cells] and non-self cells. Any cell displaying that person’s HLA type belongs to that person and, therefore, is not an invader.

But for Lipton, the receptors don’t do anything much at all. Rather all things in its environment are somehow marked self or non-self.

I think what has happened to Lipton here is that he noticed the terminology of “self” and “non-self” used in the literature, and gotten excited that it might be a good metaphor for something. Then before figuring out what that metaphor might be about, and how it might work, he forgot that it was only supposed to be a metaphor and started taking it literally.

I think that’s what happened to him.

Consider the human body a television set.

Um…… What??????? I wasn’t expecting that. What??????? What???????

You are the image on the screen.

Whaaaat????????????????????????

Um……………… Ok, so the TV is the body, and the ego, or the mind, or the “you” identity, is the image on the screen….

But your image did not come from inside the television.

Um, what? The image is on the surface, and being perceived by someone watching it from the outside, otherwise it’s just a bunch of flashing pixels.

Your identity is an environmental broadcast that was received via an antenna.

What? Your identity is the broadcast itself???? Then who is watching it???

One day you turn on the TV…

Who is “you” in this analogy???

Well, ok… I guess turning on the picture is analogous to waking up, is it?

…and the picture tube has blown out.

What?????

What is that analogous to???? Jesus Christ!!! Is this some horrific personality disorder????

Your first reaction would be, “Oh, #*$?!! The television is dead.” But did the image die along with the television set?

This is physical death!!!!

The TV set is the human body! He just said it a moment ago! You wake up and your body is dead! Holy shit! And how the hell did you wake up if your body is dead???? How did you wake up????

Um………. Ok, so your body is dead and the “you” that was projected on its screen is gone with it.

To answer that question you get another television set…

WHHAAAAATTTT???????????????????

It’s your body!!!!!! Your body is dead!!!!!!!! It’s DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How the hell are you going to walk to the TV shop, get another TV-body, and carry it home? Who or what is the “you” that does that?

….Ok, he’s done me. I wasn’t expecting anything as insane as this…. Thank god I’m not in a restaurant or I’d be looking up about now and seeing a row of concerned and puzzled faces staring at me.

Um… Well… Ok…. Let’s play along. You wake up and realise that your body is dead…. So “you” get another body somehow, from the TV shop — which I guess is your mother? Then what?

…you get another television set, you plug it in, turn it on and tune it to the station you were watching before the picture tube blew out.

I’m really quite speechless.

So your immortal soul is a TV station, and your body is interchangeable. In other words, your body is not unique at all. Not only is your body generic, but your fucking goddam immortal soul is generic as well!

So what the fuck happened to the uniqueness of your body?

He started off saying your body is unique, and he’s wound up saying it’s the same as a fucking TV set that can be thrown away and replaced with another one!

This exercise will demonstrate that the broadcast image is still on the air, even though your first television “died.”

No — your first television — your first body — didn’t “died” — it fucking died! It’s dead and dumped on the scrap heap. You don’t have a body. And your “you” has disappeared with it. That’s quite a predicament.

The death of the television as the receiver in no way killed the identity broadcast that comes from the environment.

No, you fucking moron, the “identity broadcast” came from a fucking TV station. And people built that — human beings. TV sets don’t build TV stations. And they broadcast exactly the same programs to millions and millions of TVs. To any TV that’s plugged in.

And that’s your soul, Dr Lipton?

And they don’t just broadcast to TVs. They do it so that human beings can watch the TVs. Who is the viewer in this metaphor, Dr Bruce???? Who????

Are the TVs simply watched by other TVs?

You haven’t thought this out very well at all, have you.

In this analogy, the physical television is the equivalent of the cell.

WHAT???????????????????????????

Read that again.

In this analogy, the physical television is the equivalent of the cell.

In this analogy, the physical television is the equivalent of the cell.

But you just said it was the body! At the start of the paragraph! — “Consider the human body a television set.”

That was 2 minutes ago and you wrote it yourself, you idiot!!!!

What the fuck. Okay. In this analogy, the physical television is the equivalent of the cell from now on.

So now your body is not like a TV set, but like a collection of 37.2 trillion tiny TV sets. Yes, that sounds much more sensible.

The TV’s antenna, which downloads the broadcast, represents our full set of identifying receptors and the broadcast represents an environmental signal.

Hang on, no. 37.2 trillion antennae download your soul into your body’s cells 37.2 trillion times and you, Dr Lipton, you experience your soul like that.

Because of our preoccupation with the material Newtonian world…

Now the guy who tells us that the human body is a bunch of TVs and the soul is an environmental signal set starts lecturing us about our materialism.

…we might at first assume that the cell’s protein receptors are the “self.”

No. No one has ever assumed that. NEVER. And not because of their supposed materialism.

That would be the equivalent of believing that the TV’s antenna is the source of the broadcast. The cell’s receptors are not the source of its identity, but the vehicle by which the “self” is downloaded from the environment.

And let’s look at that now. The “environment” — from where you “download your self” — is a TV station that broadcasts programs which are you self, but each program is unique, but can be picked up by any TV set — or rather 37.2 trillion TV sets which are identical and tuned to the same station, which is really you. You’re not the 37.2 trillion TV sets, and you’re not watching any of the TV sets — the programs can all experience themselves somehow as long as the TVs sets are all working. But if all the TV sets break down, “you” — the TV station — can walk down to the TV shop — your mother, who is not a TV, because TVs don’t give birth to other TVs — or maybe your mother is the factory that makes the TVs?…. You, the TV station, walk down to the TV shop to get another TV — or another 37.2 trillion TVs and plug them all in somehow, because that’s what TV stations do, and the picture, which you think is you even though you’re a TV station and not a picture, flashes back onto the screen, or onto the 37.2 trillion screens, depending on which paragraph you’re in.

When I fully understood this relationship I realized that my identity, my “self,” exists in the environment whether my body is here or not.

Right at the moment, Dr Bruce, my indifference to the existence or non-existence of your body is also increasing.

Just as in the TV analogy, if my body dies…

And now he’s flipped back to the TV being the body again, and not a single cell.

…and in the future a new individual (biological “television set”) is born who has the same exact set of identity receptors, that new individual will be downloading “me.”

So after Lipton’s dead, another body will be born and instead of being a unique individual with its own dreams and aspirations, it will start downloading the same old Station Lipton that is jabbering on here. That poor sod.

I will once again be present in the world. When my physical body dies, the broadcast is still present.

Yep, America’s Funniest Home Videos will still be jabbering on somewhere in the cosmos… But look at that again: “If my body dies, and a new individual is born with the exact same set of identity receptors…” Yes — IF. And given that there’s no such thing as “identity receptors” that broadcast won’t be picked up by anything at all. This is what happens when you try to use an analogy to get yourself reincarnated.

And worse still, come to think of it, the chance of another new baby Bruce/TV set with identical “identity receptors” being born is something Lipton himself precluded earlier with the fact that biologists have never found identical humans.

My identity is a complex signature contained within the vast information that collectively comprises the environment.

And with that, we can end on a rare happy note. While matter/energy can’t be destroyed, information, like the “complex signature” of Lipton’s soul, can — and indeed will — be obliterated with no problem at all.