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A Review
Chapter 6
Daniel C. Dennett's

Breaking the Spell
by Doug Renselle

Doug's Pre-review Commentary

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Chapter 6...............The Evolution of Stewardship

Section 1 - The music of religion

Section 2 - Folk religion as practical know-how

Section 3 - Creeping reflection and the birth of secrecy in religion

Section 4 - The domestication of religions

Section 1 - The music of religion

Dennett starts this section of Chapter 6 like this:

"The central claim of this chapter is that folk religion turned into organized religion in much the same way folk music spawned what we might call organized music professional musicians and composers, written representations and rules, concert halls, critics, agents, and the rest. In both cases the shift happened for many reasons but largely because, as people became more and more reflective about both their practices and their reactions, they could then become more and more inventive in their explorations of the space of possibilities." Page 153.

He goes on to describe both music and religion as designs. We assume he means both individual and societal designs.

As we have warned before, though, design is state-ic; evolution is dynamic.

Our view is that both music and religion, like science, have evolved. But, we concur, their protégé individual and organized societal designers used dialectic to impose state upon both.

"What do we mean by 'state,' again, Doug?"

Music offers our easiest metaphoric parable here. In music 'note' on a written score is (only apparent) state. However, we do n¤t hear 'scored notes,' rather we quantum~synæsthetically~hear durational flux. Note is stux. Flux is crux. Note is dialectical. Flux is quantum. Which is real? Perhaps we should ask which is more real?

Dialectic: dichon(ideal_played_note, ideal_scored_note). Scored note is stux. Played note is ideally event-state-cycle objective. Watch video titled The Red Violin. Dialectical "Teacher leave us kids alone."

Quantonicsese: quanton(synæsthetically_hearings_durational_flux,static_quality_representation~map_of_quantum~islandically~l¤cal_flux). Played note is never same, can never be repeated. Played note is never heard same way, hearing can never be repeated. Pirsig described this as reduction of quality with repetition: a real manifestation of familiearity breeds contempt. Listen to Glenn Gould's differing renditions of Bach's aria 30 variations aria. Watch Scorsese's The Last Waltz.

"[Quantum music,] It is to initiate us fully into music that is nature's soul, music that is ultimately always beyond what scores and notes can show." P. viii, Doug-paraphrased original by Mae-Wan Ho, in the Rainbow and the Worm, World Scientific, paperback, 1993.

Design likes stux: notes. Audiences like flux (could give a snake's bum about 'design'). Which is more real? impromptu is more real than design. Dennett claims impromptu lacks formal 'quality.' Ugh! To him design, formal mechanical objective scalarbative perfection, is 'better.' Double ugh!

By the way, where is music in 'science?' Some of humanity's best music evolved from religious ritual practices, do you agree? What age old music evolved from 'science?' Maybe theremin technology...what else? N¤t much. 'Cept mayhaps Lev Theremin's quantum~included~middling saw blade oscillator called "the Theremin." Synthetic music is dialectically determinate, so we can't exactly describe it as quantum~durational, can we? Quantum~durational music never repeats identically: it can't! Of course synthetic music repeats, but n¤t temporally (contextual chronology), n¤r spatially (contextual relocalability).

There is a lesson in that previous paragraph for any 'science' which claims its opus as 'state-ic' "truth." If time and location preside, 'science' can nævær replicate any experiment, can it? Thence, we surmise, 'state-ic truth,' 'immutable truth,' 'ideal verity,' does n¤t cann¤t scientifically exist if 'science' assumes reality will stop so that 'science' can conduct 'ideal zero-momentum stable reference frame' experiments. Why? Latter assumption is, we just showed you that it is, bogus!

Simple example: would Earth experiments work on Jupiter's surface? How much would any Earth experiment have to be altered to 'work' on Jupiter? But then it would n¤t be 'same' experiment, would it!? Another: what is one? Another: what is zero? Ask any scientist to show you a physical, generic 'one,' the physical 'one.' N¤ two physical 'things' are identical. Zeroness depends upon subtraction of identities, though.

Every opus of 'classical science' by intentional dialectical 'design' is synthetic: formal, material, substantial, concrete, mechanical, etc. 'Classical science' has n¤ spirit, n¤ breath of life. It is dead, as Horgan wrote.

Religion, for sure, evokes a sense of buoyancy, if n¤t spirit. For Doug, his own personal awe of Nature's unknown, lifts him to higher places and higher spirits than science and math ever did. For Doug, though, biology and bion¤nlogical science is more like religion. Anthropology too. In some instances psychology. But those kinds of science are genuinely not 'hard,' like physics, etc. Truly bright folk are just beginning to realize that biology and anthropology and psychology are "softer" due their quantum subjectiveness.

Better, people are leaving physics in droves, while young folk are pursuing biology with vigor. Watch our society. It is making a huge transformation from more objective to more subjective: a quantum tell!

Another BTW: you can take this entire chapter and substitute 'science' for 'religion' and 'religion' for 'science' and it will still, dialectically, hold. In all of Dennett's Breaking the Spell, due his funda mental putare of dialectical reasoning, all of what he says about religion holds for science too. Both, like Dennett, putatively and normatively inure dialectic!

Dennett continues on page 154,

"A good professor of music theory can take apart a Mozart symphony or a Bach cantata and show you how the various design features work to achieve their 'magic,' but some people prefer not to delve into these matters, for the same reason that they don't want stage magic tricks explained: for them, explanation diminishes the 'wonder.'"

He's classically 'right,' and quantumly an idiot! 'Scientific' explanation turns DQ into ESQ. Scientific 'explicit' axiomatization, AKA "design," turns flux into stux. Turns evolving reality into classical concrete. It isn't real: scientific explanation, exegesis isn't real!!! Dennett idiotically worships ESQ: "design!" He worships scored notes.

Do you remember that scene in Dead Poet's Society where Robin Williams has his students tear out a whole front section of a book about studying poetry which read just like our Dennett quote just above? Remember Robin's chalk-plotting on a blackboard a cartesian graph of that book's author's 'analysis' of a poem? (Dennett's next book title may be Breaking Poetry. Watch out poets! If that does not exemplify classical 'science' for you, naught will... Doug - 19Mar2006. How did Mae-wan Ho say it? Read those footnotes carefully! Let me see, now... "Science is poetry which must be 'scientifically' reified if we are to 'scientifically' understand it?" They call it "convention." They enforce it with a "disciplinary matrix," their "first principles" bible... That makes it or tho dox! Science is ESQ orthodox dogma: a religion. Say "science." Thingk "religion.")

What Dennett simply and quite evidently does n¤t understand — what Henri Louis Bergson wrote so eloquently, "For we can analyse a thing, but not a process; we can break up extensity, but not duration." See Bergson's Time and Free Will, Topic 35, p 219.

'Things' are 'scientifically' reified models. Thingk-king (CTMs) thingks about and designs reified synthetic models. Natural durational processes are real. Mechanical processes are synthetic. Quantum processes are durational.

Dennett's 'science' applied to both music and religion requires "detached curiosity" using rote tote 'running on automatic' "decision avoidance." A dialectical SOMite's par excellence. See Heisenberg on science's approach as "cutting off further deliberation."

Then Dennett demurs, "[Religion] is a finely tuned amalgam of brilliant plays and stratagems, capable of holding people enthralled and loyal for their entire lives, lifting them out of their selfishness and mundane ways in much the way music often does, but even more so. Understanding how it works is as much a preamble to better appreciating it or making it work better as it is to trying to dismantle it. And the analysis I am urging is, after all, just the continuation of the reflective process that has brought religion to the state it is now in. Every minister in every faith is like a jazz musician, keeping traditions alive by playing the beloved standards the way they are supposed to be played, but also incessantly gauging and deciding, slowing the pace or speeding up, deleting or adding another phrase to a prayer, mixing familiarity and novelty in just the right proportions to grab the minds and hearts of the listeners in attendance. The best performances are not just like good music; they are a kind of music. Listen to the recorded sermons of the Reverend C. L. Franklin (Aretha Franklin's father, and famous among gospel preachers before she recorded any hits), or the white Baptist preacher Brother John Sherfey, for example." Pp. 154-5. We effaced footnotes. Our brackets.

Wow! Dennett does have some quantum intuitions in spite of his formal science predilections. Impressive! Seems off key re: his title though, Breaking the Spell.

Dennett sees congregations as orchestras which are played...

Section 2 - Folk religion as practical know-how

Dennett writes that religions suffer classical 'effects' of Maxwell's second 'law' of thermodynamics.

We have often found Maxwell's second 'law' a very "curious" classicism. Classical science assumes that reality's order is stable independence of objects. Maxwell's second 'law' declares an instable relentless fall of physical reality into total disorder! Which is it? Is classical determinism Diracian ("...we must revise our ideas of causality. Causality applies only to a system which is left undisturbed." Page 4 of Dirac's The Principles of Quantum Mechanics.) OR is it Maxwellian (demanding a kind of absolute self-disturbance mandating eventual decay into heat death)? Does scientific causation cause stability OR posentropic heat death? Prigogine and Stengers went on to show that science's simple notion of entropy has two slopes: one productive and another Maxwellian, but former is always ahead of latter, so we have a quantum both~and...according to Prigogine and Stengers.

If Dennett either-or adheres Maxwell then he has to deny some very basic 'scientific' principles does he not?

Are memes 'classical tells' of a Maxwellian reality? How could any meme emerge if all memes had to decay posentropically? Is Dennett telling us that novelty can arise from his classical bases of reason? How? Determinism refutes, fundamental, potentia for emergent novelty.

Is Dennett exhibiting his "bright?"

Is he using 'scientific' "reason?"

His thingk-king appears muddled to us...

Next he appears to be writing how religion evolved and evolves!

But if religion memetically evolves and evolution ultimately offers better (allowing for innumerable tangential missteps), then why does Dennett need to be Breaking the Spell?

Notice how similar Doug and Dennett are in a significant respect. We are both trying to break a spell. Dennett's is religion. Doug's is dialectic. We differ though in how. Dennett wants to break religion's spell using dialectic. Doug wants to break dialectic's spell using real quantum memes. Another BTW: dialectical memes do not exist! Why? Dialectical bases of reason deny potentia for memetic evolution! Dialectical reason is determinate, is determinism, is cause-effect, is two-valuedness, is 1-1 correspondence, and so on...

Dennett and Doug are both impatient. Neither of us likes waiting on societal pattern of value 'patient elevators.' We want to ascend now!

Pour a cup of coffee, mix a B&B (1 part Benedictine, 4-6 parts Cognac; Ever try to find Angelica? Even Penzey's doesn't have it!), sit down and relax...come on, forget all your cares be happy...

Memes, to become and to be and to unbecome and to unbe, have to violate bases of dialectical reason! Dennett's 'science' denies any unbe. Dennett's classical science has n¤ wu!

Too, memes cann¤t avoid decisions. Memes have to be capable of animate, EIMA, adaptive decision making. Memes are qua selection. Doug - 19Mar2006.

We bet Dennett's view of a meme is that humans objectively (hegemonously but "decision avoidance" other-direct and) do all thingk-king FOR memes. "Memes cannot thingk," we can imagine Dennett saying! "Memes are not aware and coaware and obsfective and coobsfective," we can imagine Dennett saying.

On pages 158-162 all Dennett's words re: aspects of religious ritual, etc., apply to dialectical science also. You can bore yourself silly with this twattle...

Section 3 - Creeping reflection and the birth of secrecy in religion

Dennett asks us to infer an observation similar Lincoln's " cannot fool all of the people all of the time." He wants us to infer that statement applies only to religion.

However it applies to science too!

Science claims to know and understand 'scientific' truth. We call that a "deign to feign" which is just what Dennett wants to blame on religion. Deign to feign science attempting to impose a "deign to feign" label on religion.

Again, dialectic is a "deign to feign," and both religion and classical science use dialectic predominately to do their "common sense" church of catholic-universal-OSFA-rationale, 'reasoning.'

All of classical science rests upon a 'foundation' of mental pablum: supposition. Supposition based upon social concord. Some call it "positivism," i.e., "socially tragedy of commons sense positivism."

All 'scientific' facts and truths are made (manufactured) factual and truthful via social concord with a list of suppositives! But, "Vulgi opinio Error," Thomas Digges.

What if those suppositions are invalid? If those suppositions AKA first principles are invalid can science manufacture facts and truths which are valid?

Fact: Classical science's suppositions are invalid!

Allow Doug to repeat a partial list, reality is n¤t suppositionally:

We offer a longer list of what dialectical 'scientists' have to give up if they want to move closer to understanding a more real quantum reality.

On page 163 Dennett writes these paragraphs in a much larger context of societal religious and scientific culture,

"Everyday folk physics and folk biology and folk psychology work very well as a rule, and so does folk religion, but occasional doubts surface. The exploratory reflections of human beings have a way of snowballing into waves of doubt, and if these threaten our equanimity, we can be expected to seize upon any responses that happen to shore up the consensus or damp the challenge. When curiosity stubs its toe on an unexpected event, something has to give: 'what everybody knows' has a counterexample, and either the doubt blossoms into a discovery, which leads to the abandonment or extinction of a dubious bit of local lore or the dubious item secures itself with an ad hoc repair of one sort or another, or it allies itself with other items that have in one way or another put themselves out of the reach of gnawing skepticism.

"This winnowing has the effect of sequestering a special subset of cultural items behind the veil of systematic invulnerability to disproof — a pattern found just about everywhere in human societies. As many have urged[...]this division into the propositions that are designed to be immune to disconfirmation and all the rest looks like a hypothetical joint at which we could well carve nature. Right here, they suggest, is where (proto-)science and (proto-)religion part company. Not that the two types of lore aren't often thoroughly mixed together in many cultures." Footnote and reference parentheticals effaced. Our bracketed ellipsis.

His "Everyday folk physics and folk biology and folk psychology work very well as a rule, and so does folk religion,..." is an illusion, a self delusion.

His statement is only apparently 'true,' and its trueness depends upon a local, naïve social mythos which is bogus, dialectically bogus. That mythos assumes those suppositions which we listed at previous section's end.

When we move "Everyday folk physics and folk biology and folk psychology..." into a more realistic quantum emersos, they fail — radically.

Notice how Dennett says this local, naïve social mythos "...seizes upon any responses that happen to shore up the consensus..." We see Dennett using another of that mythos' suppositions: social positivism offers consensus which suppositively is 'factual' and 'truthful.' Again, we call it a "tragedy of commons sense."

Then he writes, "When curiosity stubs its toe on an unexpected event, something has to give..." In that classical dialectical determinate certain mythos "the unexpected," is, well, "unexpected." A classically certain mythos cannot possibly be uncertain can it?

But an emerging, evolving, quantum reality is an unending series of "unexpected events." It has to be or we couldn't acknowledge it as evolving and emerging. Quantum reality is radically stochastic, radically uncertain!!!

But Dennett's mythos must defend itself against said quantum challenger and does so by zeroing h-bar.

Per Dennett's use of "discovery," see our QELP of discovery.

To put Dennett's words in a larger perspective of our own, "classical science must be abandoned and its dubious bits of local lore must become extinct" in order for Earth societies and individuals to quantum~cohere and cooperate with nature. Thence shall religion and science share a novel quantum reason and empower them and us in so doing. (If you haven't you may want to read Scott M. Peck's The Road Less Traveled as adjunct Dennett's Breaking the Spell.)

Scientists "put themselves out of the reach of gnawing skepticism" in similar ways very young children put a pillow over their heads and claim that no one can 'see' them. They do it via dogmatic disciplinary matrix adherence to 'biblical' 'scientific' orthodox first principles, allowing them to safely and ritually "run on automatic" in safety behind a pillowed veil of irrefutable "crown jewels." GWBu()sh()!!

Doug - 21Mar2006.

Section 4 - The domestication of religions

To good, and we agree entirely with implications of this Dennett quote of Elaine Pagels,

"We now begin to see that what we call Christianity - and what we identify as Christian tradition - actually represents only a small selection of specific sources, chosen from among dozens of others. Who made that selection, and for what reasons? Why were these other writings excluded and banned as 'heresy?' What made them so dangerous?" Elaine Pagels from her 'Introduction,' p. xxxv, The Gnostic Gospels, Vintage, 1979 paperback.

This quote is so incredible and so valuable!

To grasp its essence though, you must study religious history, especially history of Jesus' ancient tribe of Judah and his Essene gnostic culture. You must also study history of Jesus' gnostic teachings and how they were misunderstood by most of his own disciples. Additionally, you must study religious history from Jesus' birth through and just past Constantine.

You will find, oversimplified, that Irenaeus and Constantine among others created their own version of the New Testament which actually is against Jesus' own devout gnosticism.

That's real, folks! Hard to believe, but real.

Catholicism engineered (roughly from 100 a.d. through 300 a.d.) and proselytizes even today, its own creation: an anti -gnostic anti-Christ!

We suggest three texts for a reasonably quick study here: Pagels' The Origin of Satan, her The Gnostic Gospels, and Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln's Holy Blood, Holy Grail. Catholics beware!

Pagels' Introduction to her The Gnostic Gospels is superb!

She shows us that Jesus' gnosticism was what Dennett would dialectically call "irrational." We are studying Jesus' polyparapragmalogical Gn¤sticism now with great effort, intent, fun, and expectation. So far, we find that Jesus' gnosticism is closer to being quantum and closer to describing quantum reality than Dennett's dialectic ever will or can be.

More evidence for our belief that classical science and classical religion in their dialectical manifestations are just huge and bogus deigns to feign, really!!

For sure, and in our deeply fathomed opinions, Dennett's classical science and philosophy are in n¤ position to be Breaking Any Spells, let alone religion's. Dennett would be better off breaking first, Classical Science's Big Bad Bogus Spells!

Time to acquire a Spell-Breaking blunderbuss with at least two barrels...

Time to go find some challenge-mitigating classical-consensus we surmise...

Thank you for reading,

Doug Renselle - 21Mar2006.


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©Quantonics, Inc., 2006-2019 Rev. 19Aug2011  PDR Created: 25Feb2006  PDR
(22,28Mar2006 rev - In "AKA "design," turns flux into stux." change 'crux' to 'stux.' Robins to Robin's.)
(5Jul2006 rev - Add 'Cut Off Further Deliberation' link near end of section 1.)
(2Nov2007 rev - Change contact information and hidden HTML header info.)
(24Feb2009 rev - Add link to recent QELR of 'aware.')
(19Aug2011 rev - Repair typo of 'gnostic.')

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