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17.10.17

In the book of Isaiah it says in ch 40 "To whom will you liken me?"  The Rambam (Maimonides) uses this verse as a commentary on the verses of the Torah that say God has no form.
The Rambam understands this verse to mean simply  that God has no character trait that one could ascribe to anything physical. Thus God has no form, no matter, no substance, no "essence" or anything else that could be ascribe to any physical being.
This is well known and common place, but in the Jewish religious world in the next breath, people will start to talk about God as if he has characteristics that could apply to physical beings or things.

Thus the basic beliefs are self contradictory, and therefore false.

I mean to say that if God would have any form or substance, then there would be things [Heaven forbid] that one could compare Him to. Therefore nothing that one can attribute to a physical being can be applicable to God.
 With the religious this change in the belief system of Torah goes along with worship of their religious teachers. They ascribe Divine traits to their leaders. Thus this change in the philosophy of Torah goes along with a hidden agenda. It is not an innocent mistake.
During the Middle Ages people did not think about politics even though they were aware that there were other forms of government like that of ancient Athens or Rome. Religion was the major source of value in people's lives that is what they spent their spiritual and mental enegy upon.
The reason for this is that politics was irrelevant. They lived under monarchs.


Nowadays people take that same energy and spend it on politics or conspiracy theories or alternative religions.
Breslov, New Age, Buddhism  are all motivated in this same way. Religion nowadays is almost always a reaction against something. Breslov is a last chance effort to find value in the religious world when people have been severely burnt. Buddhism (in the West) is a reaction against Christianity. New Age is similar.

Buddhism tries to break people's ties with their family and friends as if that will lead to Nirvana. They do this in the way of claiming there is no objective truth and therefore all truth is only what is inside of one, not in his relationship with others.

Webs of words are woven by all these cults not to reveal truth but to hide it.

Erez [a disciple of Rav Shick who later became a cult leader seperate from Rav Shick] used to say about Rav Shick's booklets "they have shining words". I always used to wonder about this. Shining words are not necessarily true words. In fact I have an aversion to too many words and too much talking.  One of the reasons I never went for a degree in philosophy was I could not stand the obsession with words that philosopher have. As soon as a philosopher says something about language I change the channel.



16.10.17



Reb Nachman  emphasized the need for a spiritual teacher. The problem with this is legitimating-idolatry -and-cultish-behavior.
[This should not be taken as critique on any of Reb Nachman's teachings but rather on how people misuse them. I consider Reb Nachman to be a true tzadik and I feel that a good deal of my personal growth while in Israel should be attributed to my following his good ideas.]


The legitimating narrative of Breslov lays the groundwork for an authoritarian inclined leader/tzadik– – to draw his followers into a cult-like world dependent on obedience, the master’s approval, and an ethical framework reflecting the master’s self-serving interests.

Breslov

In Breslov it is related related the following exchange  that indicates a view of what a tzadik is supposed to do or be. Someone asked, “If a tzadik is capable of doing miracles, why doesn’t he do them?… Why doesn’t  the tzadik make the blind see, or touch a crazy person and make him sane? Wouldn’t even such a showy miracle as walking on water make people believe in Breslov…” One person replied, “ Miracles are not the thing of Reb Nachman. Many people want miracles, and if they witness miracles they become attached to them. But miracles are only a technique. They are not the true way.”

Here we see the tzadik implying that he too could perform  miracles , only that he dismisses them as “only a technique” which is “not the true way.” He claims not to do miracles because it would distract people from “the true way.” His reply is a slap at Christainity for using flashy techniques to attract people who do not have the highest goals.

One person said
"It should be remembered that the mind of the tzadik is ever pure… and even if the tzadik sins, he is still to be considered a true tzadik

Here the reader is informed that no matter what the tzadik does, it is beyond both the reader’s and the student’s understanding, because the tzadik’s mind is ever pure, a mysterious state beyond the ordinary person’s comprehension. The student is informed that the master’s authority must be taken totally on faith in the infallibility and omniscience that is implicit in his title tzadik. According to this the student is incapable of making any judgments relating to the master’s activities.

 The student is informed that the tzadik’s authority must be taken totally on faith in the infallibility and omniscience that is implicit.. According to Breslov, the student is incapable of making any judgments relating to the tzadik’s activities.

One person wrote:
A tzadik is a person who has actualized that perfect freedom which is the potentiality for all human beings. He exists freely in the fullness of his whole being. The flow of his consciousness is not the fixed repetitive patterns of our usual self-centered consciousness, but rather arises spontaneously and naturally from the actual circumstances of the present. The results of this in terms of the quality of his life are extraordinary-buoyancy, vigor, straightforwardness, simplicity, humility, security, joyousness, uncanny perspicacity and unfathomable compassion … Without anything said or done, just the impact of meeting a personality so developed can be enough to change another’s whole way of life. But in the end it is not the extraordinariness of the tzadik that perplexes, intrigues, and deepens the student, it is the teacher’s utter ordinariness.
 This introduction was meant to describe a real tzadik, and by extension, as is clearly stated, all people with the title tzadik. It is not an idealized reference to a heavenly being or some distant or mythological religious figure.

To summarize, in the definitions and descriptions of the tzadik quoted above, there is an extraordinary claim to authority. These descriptions were given by individuals who are themselves thought to be tzadikim (tzadik plural), the very official spokespersons for institutions and believed by credulous people to be the only valid voices of Torah.

One can easily see from these descriptions of a tzadik that it is not necessary for any particular tzadik to make claims concerning his/her own enlightenment or his/her own level of perfection: because  institutional traditions repeat this claim for the person sitting in the role of tzadik. Any particular Breslov follower, who is adequately socialized into a given group, cannot but see the tzadik as expressing the Mind of God. Indeed, the tzadik often believes the same thing. Through its structure, mythology, its ritual practices, and perhaps most significantly through its use of a special set of terms and definitions, the institution reinforces this claim for the tzadik.

WHAT IS THE BASIS FOR  CLAIMS OF SUCH AUTHORITY?

Breslov bases its authority  through the idea of soul to-soul  transmission. This transmission is ritualized as  an event  by which the enlightened mind of the tzadik itself has been passed down through the ages. Similar to one candle lighting the next in a supposed unbroken chain, the enlightened mind of the tzadik is transmitted, from one enlightened tzadik to the next. Breslov claims this transmission is a separate transmission outside the teachings, that is, outside of texts. In doing so it marks itself as essentially different from and more authoritative than a straight forward Litvak yeshiva that claims no authority outside of what is written in the Oral and Written Law which anyone can buy and read. In this Breslov scheme, the living tzadik standing in front of you is the last in this unbroken series of enlightened beings. Hence, holding the title tzadik becomes an unquestioned marker of authority. Everyone else is open to delusional thoughts, self interest, self aggrandizement, and all the short comings of ordinary human beings.

To summarize, the basis for  authority is composed of three elements:

(1) tzadik is considered an enlightened being beyond the understanding of ordinary people – a living person who sits in for the true tzadik.
(2) transmission according to convention is the formal recognition on the part of the tzadik that the disciple has attained an understanding equal to that of the teacher.
(3) Unbroken lineage supposedly starting long ago and continuing through the historical tzadik down to the present day living tzadikim.
It will help in understanding Breslov social functioning to keep in mind the basic model of religious authority. That the standard setup for religious authority requires three mutually reliant zones: (1) a deep origin of truth or perfection in the form of a past sage, saint, deity, or Being; (2) a means for bringing that truth-perfection forward in time; and (3) a contemporary spokesperson for that primordial truth-perfection who is sanctioned to represent it in the present, and distribute it to the believing public, which delegates to him just this power and legitimacy. Religious authority always involved in a "to and fro" back and forth, shuttling back and forth between its deep origins and its application in the present. Put otherwise, in any moment of religious authority, there is always an audience focused on the singular priest-figure, who is expected to funnel the totality of truth and being from the past into the group.


In Breslov the tzadik is the deep origin of truth, transmission and the idea of unbroken lineage are the means for bringing that truth-perfection forward in time, while the living tzadik is the contemporary spokesperson for that primordial truth-perfection.  It is not surprising that around Breslov centers the focus is on who does and does not have  transmission rather than on what it actually means or what these people actually are or do.

This creates a hierarchical power relationship. So called "insight" or "wisdom", can function as the basis of this relationship between student and tzadik. Essentially, every aspect of the student’s life is open to the teacher’s judgment. The struggle occurs over at least two issues, the student wanting to be recognized for having realized the "truth", and over the student being authorized to be a teacher in his/her own right along with the perks and privileges of the position. Both these issues depend solely on the teacher’s unquestionable decision.

 Breslov places importance  on their "tzadik's  lack of self interest and supposed unconcern with his public image. This doesn’t mean there is, in fact, a lack of self-interest, only that the master’s self-interest can more easily be disguised beneath the  ideals of "enlightened mind," selflessness, and teaching. In contrast, common people cannot be trusted because by nature their actions are driven by self interest. The imputed lack of self interest of the tzadik implies that everything the tzadik does is to help the student, whether the student understands this or not.

These imputed qualities of the master:
(1) lack of self interest
(2) everything the master does is to help the student
easily combine to become tools of dominance and abuse in interpersonal relations between the master and his disciples.

And in fact there is widespread abuse.







Causality is true and things have no space-time coordinate until observed.

The general way I have thought about causality for a while is that the fact that nature violates Bell's inequality means we have to throw out one of two things (1) reality, or (2) causality/locality. Since GPS proves relativity is correct so we know it is the first assumption must be thrown out.
[That is we know there is space-time, but things have no space-time coordinate until observed.]

There would be no reason to mention this except that I noticed the locality also comes up in QM in terms of showing that Dirac particles (of 1/2 spin) must be fermions (obey the Pauli exclusion principle) and can not be bosons.
You need the commutator [ψ (x, 0),  ψ*(y,0)] must be zero because the separation between x and y is space-like.  So it seems to me that an important result in QM depends on the fact that there can be no effects that are not local. (The star * I mean as the complex conjugate transposed).

The fact of locality is denied so often that I feel it is important to mention this more than once.

The nicest explanation of this subject I saw in a free book of lectures on QM by Dr. Doren Cohen in Beer Sheva. He explained the subject of Bell's inequality very nicely. Later on on I noticed in the lectures of Allan Guth at MIT how the fact that things with integer spin can not obey the Pauli exclusion principle depends on relativity.

15.10.17

I used to be a lot more positive about Islam until Muslims made multiple attempts to take my life. One time I think I was saved only in circumstances that could only be described as miraculous. Since then my attitude change slowly. It took time for the full impact to sink in. So nowadays I look at the Muslim invasion of Europe as being a basically bad thing.

The great thing about Reality is that it corrects false beliefs.
Islam has nice sounding words on paper, but when people try to translate it into the real world, something goes haywire and the tendency is to become violent.

When the World Trade Center was destroyed no one thought for a second maybe it is the work of some Catholic nun or Buddhist monk. There is clearly some evil spirit infesting Islam. 
 Should one  follow signs?  I generally do. This was mentioned by Reb Nachman as being a lower level of awareness, but even so it has validity. But one can get too involved in it. When the Dark Side notices one is following signs, then it begins to send signs of its own.
It works better when it is spontaneous--that is when one is not looking, and then out of the blue comes some sign. A friend of mine Moshe, suggested that signs are the result of the higher realms of reality sending messages into this realm.  A lot depend on what god one is following.

14.10.17

Guaranteed income? Who will pay for it? You,

Briefly, the reason is that hypothetical thought experiments  provide a way of mentally isolating a causal, explanatory, or logical factor for examination on its own which normally, in the real world, cannot be isolated, and to do so while still discussing a concrete situation.

 David Hume once came up with this thought experiment: suppose that in the middle of the night, the  money in everyone's wallet, safe, or other stash, suddenly doubled in quantity - so there is twice as much money, but no other changes are made. Would the country then suddenly be enormously better off - would we all be twice as wealthy as we are now? No, in fact we would have exactly the same amount of wealth as we presently do, for there would be exactly the same amount of capital around, and the same availability of labor. (Everyone could then double their prices.) What this shows is that increases in the money supply do not translate to increased wealth; it can also be used to explain why increases in the money supply cause inflation.

Of course, such a scenario is impossible: all our money cannot magically double in quantity. But that is not the point. The reason the thought experiment is useful is that this way of thinking of it enables you to mentally isolate just the one factor desired for consideration: the quantity of money. We imagine just the quantity of money changed and nothing else. In the real world, one cannot do this. In the real world, it is not possible to change the money supply uniformly (i.e. increasing everyone's money, without redistribution) and it is impossible to change the money supply without affecting the economy in some other way at the same time. So I cannot cite a historical case in which nothing but the money supply was altered. This is why thought experiments are useful.

The fact the the big "Trusts" come up with studies saying the opposite is that they have been pro communism for  along time.