L. Bird pkeets at
Tue Jun 8 19:29:43 CDT 2004

>>I know you don't like the terminology, Schrade, but translate the buzz of 
>who concert and the addiction Tom's talking about into science for me.

>OK, but then I want you to tell me the spiritual aspects of the human 
system.  ;-)

You mean the buzz I get from homemade cherry pie and ice cream?  :)

In other words, I can give you the scientific explanation of how the nerves 
work to tell me there's food coming down, and how peristalisis shoves it 
along and how the Kreb cycle works to provide energy to the cells, but none 
of that tells you why I chose the cherry pie over chocolate cake.  The 
secret is, cherry pie is a more spiritual experience.   :)

>Just because something gives you good feelings doesn't mean other worldly
processes are taking place.  Do mood altering drugs like Prozac, pot, acid,
etc. work on a spiritual, other worldly level?  Or do they work on an under-
standable biological level?

Some people believe they do work on a spiritual level.  Recall how Carlos 
Santana said his muse was Mescal?  It's a mind altering drug.  To an extent 
the effects of mind altering drugs are known, but science is still looking 
for the processes behind the effects.  It seems to have to do with how they 
bind to receptors in the brain--and of course these receptors are 
genetically determined.  Therefore, Carlos Santana may very well have a 
different experience with Mescal than you do.  Again, science can record 
(some of) the brain activity that goes on, based on the current primitive 
equipment that we have for recording brain activity.  But even if science 
manages to reproduce that particular brain activity in another person, 
there's no way to guarantee that it feels the same.  That's still the stuff 
of science fiction.

Whether you or Santana considers it a spiritual experience has to do with 
interpretation, I'll agree.  He's grown up in a culture that considers it a 
source of inspiration, and you can see it works for him.  I can't argue with 
that kind of success.

>And why is "the buzz" - that purportedly unknowable response - only re-
ferred to in reference to *good* feelings, like Who concerts?  No one
speaks of intangibles when it comes to bad behavior, like genocide or

Oh, yeah they do.  Ask some of those guys why they do it.  You think Jeffrey 
Dahmer didn't get a buzz out of killing people?  Ick.

>Is that why the Devil was invented?  To cover that aspect of evil?

Beats me.  I gather that the same people who need to visualize God as a 
white man with a long beard need to visualize the Devil as an ugly creature 
with a pointy tail.  I understand it in a literary sense--personification, 
you know--but then people seem to buy into the picture.

>>Okay?  Scientific language and scientific study aren't going to give you 
>more information about it.  So far science can tell you what area of the 
>brain lights up, but not what's happening inside the human person.  You 
>just need a different vocabulary to talk about that.

>*You* need a different vocabulary because you haven't read enough about
the complexities of the human brain.  You throw your hands up in the air
& exclaim it's unknowable by science.  But is it?  Or is it just less 
knowing that the brain is simply tissue, neurons, chemicals, etc.?

I'd stop short of unknowable, but durn, those guys researching it have got a 
looooong way to go.  If they're so far along in understanding it, then when 
are they going to come up with a cure for depression?  Also, notice youre 
limiting the discussion to physiology here.  When are you going to get into 
psychology?  Eh?  Jung and Freud are respected scientists.  :)

>Sounds less interesting only if you fail to have a complete knowledge &
understanding of how the human brain operates.  There are books on the
subject.  Reality can be quite exhilarating.

Scott, I think you're mistaking me here.  I was a science major in college, 
and did some graduate work in psychology.  Human science at its current 
level falls WAY short of explaining what happens in the Universe.


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