• Did anyone see the critique of Tony's work on his Facebook page , it was written by Felix lazalco neuroscientist , he raises some interesting points , but tony hasn't responded to his post yet.
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50
    I'm all for constructive criticism and critiques but overall I found this particular one very underwhelming. He seems to have a distorted and incomplete understanding of the actual theory, and his attempts to 'debunk' it just don't hold up IMO. He also seems to have succumb to the all-to-familiar position (which is easy for a lucky middle/upper class person to hold) of being unreasonably optimistic about the path our global society is on...when the evidence to the contrary is overwhelming on so many levels. That's not to say a degree of optimism is unwarranted; I am extremely optimistic, in a sense...But lets not kid ourselves here: things are NOT great for the majority and we've got a long way to go. We are like fish in water and often don't consciously register the destruction we're putting ourselves and the planet through.

    Basically, in my opinion he is looking at this entirely out of context. Just one example: he claims EEG patterns are not "altered", which they would be if the left hemisphere was a damaged yet dominant version of the right. But altered in comparison to.... what exactly?

    Here (and this is true of many of his points, i.e. breakdown in neural connectivity, memory, ect) he forgets that when trying to ascertain whether or not we really are dysfunctional/deluded we have to consider the possibility that our reference points for, and general idea of, "altered" may be entirely off center and out of context. What i mean is, we would have to consider the possibility that what we think of as normal is actually the altered state. This is the only way you can actually understand and ascertain whether the theory has any validity.

    If its true... then essentially what he did by claiming "EEG is not altered, memory is not altered, and so on" is like a dementia patient assessing themselves and concluding that they're perfectly healthy; since they're memory and thought processes *seem normal* to them, and are not altered in comparison to what they're used to. They have no reference point because they are as a fish in water.

    Luckily, there is loads of evidence that humans can at times access far superior brain wave patterns, memory, immune function, ect. Deep meditation states, sleep, and other techniques can put peoples brainwaves into a much deeper, coherent, and functional state. There has even been studies showing that some monks have permanently altered their brainwave rhythms for the better, resulting in a more happy and balanced emotional life (not to mention meditation has been shown to thicken the cortex.) That this ability to easily shift our brainwaves into a more functional, empathic, blissful, coherent, and overall more functional state even exists at all is a clue that something just isn't right here. Why would this state of being lay dormant within us all, just waiting to be accessed?

    Our normal brainwave patterns appear disorganized and dysfunctional in comparison to these so called "altered" states (and i doubt its a coincidence that dozens of archaic traditions regard our current state as the degraded or altered state)... Not to mention the mountain of evidence for advanced abilities such as perfect/photographic memory, computer like mathematical calculations, unfiltered perception, savant abilities, blissful/life changing states of consciousness, ect, ect, which heavily indicate much more advanced dormant abilities within us, relative to our current state.
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50
    Its also odd (telling?) that he seems so bent on justifying 'denial' as being a healthy character trait. Denial and stubbornness is simply NOT the same thing as a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking skills.

    "The better you are at denying new information the more likely you are to not be persuaded from parting with your current resources (time, money, motivation on projects underway etc). Denial is a cornerstone of businessmen, lawyers and scientific review boards."

    Its big business and our insane economic system that plays a key part in the continual toxification of the air, the water, the land, our bodies, and continues to make the rich richer and the poor poorer with complete disregard to its long-term trajectory. (one example: just witness the denial going on here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?hp&_r=0 )

    Everyday lawyers knowingly try and prove someone is innocent all for the sake of a paycheck, even when they know they are guilty. And meanwhile a huge amount of our scientific ingenuity goes into designing machines that more efficiently kill other members of our own species, or other species.

    I mean we could pointlessly argue semantics all day...but often times, the better you are at denying new information that doesn't fit into your familiar mental-model of reality, the more likely you are to be clinging onto inaccurate and illusory models of the world merely for the sake of maintaining your comfort zone at all costs.

    Even many mainstream academics such as ramachandran have concluded that the left hemisphere flat out ignores data that doesn't fit in with its categorical model of the world... and that when the evidence becomes overwhelming, the right hemisphere- which experiences reality more or less directly- is forced to step in and update the left hemispheres illusory version of reality.

    We also know from countless cases of left brain damage or removal that the right hemisphere can literally do everything the left hemisphere can do, and much more (yes, even language- especially if the damage or removal occurs in childhood before full on left dominance completely sets in). The right also sings, when the left seems to be incapable of that at all. Which is more advanced, speech or singing? Any muscle will grow in response to exercise, and such is the case with the language centers of the left hemisphere.

    Also, he neglects the specific nature of the dysfunction. Its not simply that its dysfunctional in the classical sense. Its that the neural traits which were most dependent on this constant stream of incredibly powerful plant biochemicals- which flooded our brains for millions of years- were the first that began to erode once the symbiosis was lost. And so now, instead of this plant/human biochemical environment that we evolved within (which alters how things are built on the most basic cellular levels) we're reverting back to a more typical mammalian biochemical environment which, obviously, builds a typical mammalian brain.
  • DACDAC
    Posts: 28
    Excellent!

    Perhaps, these comments should be added in response.

    Quantitatively, never have so many people and animals suffered simultaneously; about 30.000 children die of agonizing starvation everyday; the end to a life of misery! 12000 bears are kept in claustrophobic cells whilst bile is extracted via a hole drilled into their stomach until the day they die; a life of atrocious pain and suffering, millions of cows are being raped daily to promote year long lactation; milk contains pus (blood) because the nipples of the cows are full of sores stemming from commonplace, institutionalized, grotesque, negligence and carelessness.
    None of the above may even remotely be considered necessary: Our species is certified insane or evil, fact!


    The only way, in my view, one may remain optimistic concerning the state of the our species and the planet, whilst remaining remotely sane, is if we are blessed with an unshakable know-ledge of a higher power and meaning underlying reality!
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50
    Apart from all of these symptoms of our insanity, the universe and everything in it is the most profoundly amazing and mind blowingly beautiful experience imaginable...The fact that we're all not in a thunderstruck state of awe and reverence at the mere fact that we even exist is a sign something just isn't right here.

    Here we are in the bottom of a gravity well... on this beautiful life covered magma rock earthship... soaring through outer space....thousands of miles an hour... around a nuclear fireball (the sun)... in the neighborhood of billions of other swarms consisting of trillions of other stars... and people go about their hum drum daily activities acting as if this is Normal!? Its not that we don't know these things, its that we don't fully register and feel what we "know" anymore. If even just the minute part of existence that we experience isn't profoundly humbling in itself, then its clear that our inability to fully perceive it is the reason.
  • SLQSLQ
    Posts: 19
    DAC.... then why is it so difficult for anyone to see that Violence-Aggression-and, yes, Denial ....have become characteristic of the altered state ....and have landed us unequivocally on the threshold of extinction?

    I have only just been browsing through the Intentional Communities and EcoVillages of the world - as we are also one in the making.... and there one finds the same majority of insensitivity to the reality that Killing is Vicious and Gratuitous, the dominant characteristic of a defiled species....

    How on earth can one kill ....and then eat what one kills? My God I cannot for the life of me see it as '....whatever'!

    They even call their animal culture 'organic' - it is truly our grief to have lost the Grace that brought about the beauty of our [and other] gorgeous species. Which brings me to a small comment that I am hopeful will yield 'fruit' in this exciting new forum, and that is our connection to the entire natural world that has caused it to revert into the dog-eat-dog world we've inherited these last many thousands of years....

    If you could see [and feel] the shriek of grief on the face of a Cheetah that had just lost one of her two cubs to a pair of lions ....it would wrench your heart [as it did mine and Ruth's] so much so that you could not bear to live with the pain.

    Yes, the Fall has not been without its corollary implications in the world greater than that of just humans.....

    I am thrilled by the possibility that we may open doors here that were forbidden us by the dread species we had become.... There really is no way for the fatally flawed institutions we've built to survive. What is so amazing to me ....is that hardly anyone appreciates that the collapse we're facing is an actual emergency....!

    in LovingKindness
  • dfhdfh
    Posts: 35
    you bring up a good point. it's my deep belief that any person being open to the suffering of a raped and slaughtered animal will feel so much pain and disgust that eating it simply is no longer an option.

    for a good presentation about the psychology of eating meat, i recommend this video with melanie joy, in which she among other things says that denial is a crucial component in consuming meat:


  • DACDAC
    Posts: 28
    WOW, very powerful! I feel the truth of your words deeply in my heart.
  • dfhdfh
    Posts: 35
    i must admin i didn't read the critique carefully. these two things gave me a sense of what consciousness the critique is coming from though:

    1. "If we had regressed to be so primitive we would have nuked ourselves
    ten times over by now. Instead we use nukes for rational games to increase
    stability."

    nukes and rationality eh? is this not an example of just how primitive we are? wouldn't a world where we didn't try to kill each other over stupid territorial and egotistical arguments at all, be a lot less primitive?

    2. "The problem itself is still a mystery..what exactly is the problem ? Are we not in a pretty amazing world considering where we were just 400 years ago ?"

    amazing as it is, we are also destroying it at a fast pace. it might be better for humans, but for the 150 billion fish and land animals we routinely enslave and slaugter every year for consumption (1), not so much i think. i find this view extremely antropocentric, a typical example of a left-brain worldview.

    1: http://www.adaptt.org/killcounter.html
  • dfhdfh
    Posts: 35
    by the way, would it maybe be a good idea to summarize the excellent points being made by you all above and make one or several comments on the original facebook post by Felix?
  • DACDAC
    Posts: 28
    The last 250 years have been most devastating for 99.999999% of all other life forms, and even amongst humans, if we count the extended suffering increasing quantities of souls have and are experiencing; relative to the population size 500 years ago. 

    Proposing that the condition might have been worse if we were "insane" is pathologically absurd (in-sane), yes, the pit can always be dug deeper; the argument very well exposes how bad the situation really appears to be; it is proclaimed a victory that we have not yet destroyed life on the planet! 
    Yes, a behaviorally advanced species. No, the primary reason we have not suffered a nuclear Holocaust, as of yet, is due to that part of the ego which upholds self preservation above absolute domination.

    Wherefore the fundamentalist, institutionalized, religious zealot is dangerous; since he does not appear to have such barriers.   
  • Andymcl84Andymcl84
    Posts: 10
    Very well put ts , I felt this topic should be here and would be beneficial for the group long term . Maybe answer some questions for people or clarify a few things , good idea dfh would also be interesting seeing his response
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50
    Yeah if someone wants to post this thread in reply to him on FB thats fine with me. I don't have an account there anymore.
  • SLQSLQ
    Posts: 19
    We [Ruth & I] don't go there - we hardly have time for all of Life so treat all social media the same. Not! But we'll try our best to follow along on this most interesting trip with you all....
  • Tony, I would suggest a Facebook page along with a YouTube channel. I don't have the computer skills myself, not yet. I must say that I honestly find your videos and radio entries on your website to be your strongest assets. I was surprised by the book. I found it a bit short. After listening to your many interviews where you so eloquently discuss your ideas, I was expecting a lot more detail. Don't get me wrong. I love the book! I was just expecting a lot more detail. Of course, there would be the problem of getting people to read it if it where any longer. I suppose it is a lot like live music, which is almost always better than the recorded  version. You have probably been interviewed, and given so many talks on the subject, most of which probably where never recorded, that you have gotten really good at it. It's like you release the record and then go out on tour and that is when the songs really takes wing. So, yah, this brings us back to video, Facebook, YouTube channel. Just look at how successful Durian Riders sites are. But still, a documentary would be the best. It doesn't have to even be so professional that it's on TV. Check out the 45 minute or so video on the Woodstock Fruit Festival. That is such a great video. There are going to be SO many people there this year, its going to be a bit overwhelming. So Tony, you could be a YouTube star at least, until your TV documentary is made. We can't always wait for government funding. It's a bit like asking them to shoot themselves in the foot. If there's any place where left brain thinkers tend to gravitate, it's bureaucracy. And Tony doesn't have to do all the talking. I watched the video posted by Andymcl84 about Jill Bolte Taylor on TED. That's great stuff that touches on Tony's insights from a very different perspective. She got a standing ovation. 
  • _ts__ts_
    Posts: 50

    Coriander said:

    "Tony, I would suggest a Facebook page along with a YouTube channel."



    Tony already has both :]



    Theres several professionals interested in making a documentary but sadly it seems that the funds just aren't there right now.

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