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5/19 Bohm Dialogue — Socialism

This salon has been postponed to May 19th.

For April our topic is Socialism

Many people consider the things government does for them to be social progress but they regard the things government does for others as socialism. — Earl Warren

Socialism proposes no adequate substitute for the motive of enlightened selfishness that today is at the basis of all human labor and effort, enterprise and new activity.  — William Howard Taft

To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity. It’s asserting the value of saying that the America we want and the America that we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It’s one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live.  — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude. ―Alexis de Tocqueville

A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.
— Noam Chomsky

The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. — Winston Churchill

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone. – John Maynard Keynes

Democratic socialism means that we must create an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy.  — Bernie Sanders

Socialism – the word brings much heat and smoke but little light. For a heated debate on a usually civil channel see: https://iai.tv/video/socialist-dreams

For the difference between socialism and communism: https://www.dictionary.com/e/socialism-democracy/

Last time we settled the “hard problem” of consciousness — NOT! This month it’s Socialism! At least we promise to be civil. Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday April 21 at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

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Women’s Alliance Rummage Sale, Sat April 13 9:30-1:30

A tradition going way back. Great buys on used clothes, books, music, kitchenware, and other stuff, lovingly sorted and displayed by our own Women’s Alliance.

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Spirituality Book Group Saturday April 20, 10am – Prodigal Summer

All who are interested are welcome to come on SaturdayApril 20 at 10am when the Spirituality Book Group is meeting to discuss Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver.

Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches the forest from her outpost in an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and confound her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer’s wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the complexities of a world neither of them expected.

Over the course of one humid summer, as the urge to procreate overtakes a green and profligate countryside, these characters find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place. Their discoveries are embedded inside countless intimate lessons of biology, the realities of small farming, and the final, urgent truth that humans are only one part of life on earth.

We hope to see you April 20, at 10am, at Linda’s home in Meadow Walk in Sudbury.

For more information, or direction to Linda’s, contact Tom Yelton or Leslie Lowe.

To see some of our past readings click here.

 

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3/17 Bohm Dialogue — Consciousness

For March our topic is Consciousness.

Everything in the Universe, throughout all its kingdoms, is conscious: i.e., endowed with a consciousness of its own kind and on its own plane of perception. – H. P. Blavatsky

 

A human being is a spatially and temporally limited piece of the whole, what we call the “Universe.” He experiences himself and his feelings as separate from the rest, an optical illusion of his consciousness. The quest for liberation from this bondage is the only object of true religion. Not nurturing the illusion but only overcoming it gives us the attainable measure of inner peace. – Albert Einstein

 

Although you appear in earthly form Your essence is pure Consciousness. You are the fearless guardian of Divine Light. – Rumi

 

There’s certainly nothing original about the observation that conscious experience poses a hard problem. – David Chalmers

I know I have it and you seem to as well. But what is it, this “hard problem”? Wikipedia says:

Consciousness is the state or quality of awareness or of being aware of an external object or something within oneself.[1][2] It has been defined variously in terms of sentience, awareness, qualiasubjectivity, the ability to experience or to feelwakefulness, having a sense of selfhood or soul, the fact that there is something “that it is like” to “have” or “be” it, and the executive control system of the mind.”

Hmmm. Some say consciousness is before anything. Others that it is a byproduct of brain activity and some claim it is an illusion. But doesn’t “illusion” presuppose a consciousness to be illuded? Jan and Mark requested this topic so I asked them for their definitions. Jan replied:

My current favorite is Lisa Feldman Barrett’s model of consciousness (experiencing Reality):

“Your experiences are not a window into reality. Rather, your brain is wired to model your world, driven by what is relevant for your body budget (allostasis), and then you experience that model as Reality…”

Christof Koch’s Four ad hoc definitions of consciousness
1) common sense – our inner mental life while awake.
2) behavioral – a checklist of actions or behaviors we use to certify consciousness, for example, the Glasgow Coma Scale.
3) neuronal – the functioning of the cortico-thalamic complex and the brain stem
4) philosophy – what it is like to feel something. (p.33)

Feinberg & Mallatt (2016) propose a nice simple definition of Phenomenal Consciousness (Sensory):
p. 111: “But to us, real consciousness is indicated by the (optic tectum) making a multi-sensory map of the world and then attending to the most important object in this map and then signaling behaviors”… based on the map. 

from jch.com/notes/Consciousness.html

Hmmmm. Mark said:

Jan has captured my favorites from Koch. Here is a pithy one from Antonio Damarion: the self in the act of knowing.

But what then is “the self” and how can it be separated from knowing?

Let’s get together to settle this damned “hard problem” once and for all! Join us to listen to what others think and to share what you think.  The Religious Exploration Salon is a group that meets 3rd Sundays to discuss various topics in the format called Bohm Dialogue which emphasizes respectful listening and balanced, synergistic sharing. For more details about how Dialogue works, please see this intro.

Everyone is welcome. You are welcome to think about the topic beforehand but no preparation is required or expected — come as you are with whatever thoughts/intuitions you have, ready to listen, learn and contribute.  We next meet Sunday March 17 at 7pm in the Brackett Room.

Contact Paul Reising, Tom Yelton or Jan Hardenbergh for more information.

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Click HERE: Information about the Auction – get tickets in advance and $ave – Donate Forms – Signup to Help Form 

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