Re: Schroedinger's Equation

#22
John Schwinn and the interconnectedness piece: This is not exactly "on task," billymac, but I got a kick out of the hospital scene of interconnectedness in which the homeys, wise guys and Dr. Einey all interrelated over philosophical musings as well as a sports event. Each (except Paulie) had the ego strength to hold his own...a strange and entertaining cross section of schmoozing and bull$hitting. I loved it when DeLuxe's babymama asked Holbrook, "Hey, weren't you our substitute teacher...?" Also, funny was when one of the homeys (maybe DeLuxe?) suggested that Schwinn fix the TV, and Schwinn seemed to acquiesce, but without a loss of ego or submissive posturing.

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Re: Tony Belief Systems and random gibberish

#24
<blockquote>Quote:<hr>(1) Could Tony (or anyone with an IQ under 190 not engaged in the study of math/physics as a vocation) ever find spiritual meaning in a theory of the universe that so thoroughly rejects subjectivity and the importance of individual human experience, perception, and feeling, which are (to some extent) an inescapable part of every scientific, religious, and philosophical principle man has ever devised . . . including principles rejecting the relevance of perception?<hr></blockquote>

Absolutely. I don't think you have to be a Math, or Physics wiz to find spiritual meaning in Quantum Theory. I'm definately no Physics Wizard myself...Heck, my college degree is in Fine Arts, and while I don't understand the equations, I understand what it is saying on the surface.

Hell, many scientists call Quantum Physics a religion, as it is, because of it's unusual nature and the way that much of it doesn't fit with traditional scientific thinking.

If you are interested in reading about it, in a form you can digest, try Steven Hawkings books, The Universe in a Nutshell, or A Brief History of Time. They are actually really interesting reads.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>(2) If Tony is, indeed, everyone and everything, then why should he feel different now since he has been the same "everyone" since the beginning? Why did it take an NDE and/or a Bell Labs scientist to apprise him of that fact since he is also the Bell Labs scientist? <hr></blockquote>

It's simply a matter of being made aware. You could ask the same question about any experience you might think he had in that coma. Why should a near-death experience make him feel different at all, even if it was a Christian one, for example? Tony would have always been a part of God, before the gunshot, just as he is after. The difference is that, the experiences he had in the coma would make him aware of something else.

In this case, it made Tony aware of being "a part of something bigger" (his words, not mine). A part of Everything? A part of the Universe?

Its just like looking at a shirt with a tiny dot of a stain. You might not ever notice the tiny stain. But, once somebody points it out to you, you can't see anything but that stain when you look at the shirt.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>(3) How could there be any such thing as an NDE since that presupposes not only the extinction of something that doesn't exist (a distinct human entity) but the existence of an "experience", which by definition conveys a subjective, personal perception?

4) If "everything is everything" and there is no Tony as distinct from the monk as distinct from Finnerty, then why were the monks suing him, since they ARE him? Why was it important that HE take responsibility, since there is no "he" apart from them?

<hr></blockquote>

First off, this is just you trying to understand that theory. Not Tony. There isn't any evidence of Tony bringing up these questions...

...That being said, the fact that everybody and everything is connected and is "the same", doesn't mean they can't be spererate entities.

Think of your body as a "Universe". You are everything in your body, right? Well, your body is made up of enzymes, red and white blood cells and all sorts of other tiny little "organisms" that have their own agendas and do things to keep you alive. If it weren't for certain protein digesting enzymes, you wouldn't be able to send singles from your brain to your hands to type. But are you aware of those enzymes? They are all seperate from each other, but all a part of you.

There are theories that say the Universe is alive, and we exist to help make the Universe aware of itself. We are all part of the same make up, like small cells in the Universe's body.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>(5) Why did their theory contain the important preface, "one day we will all die and then we will be like that tree, no you, no me" unless they believe in the first instance that there IS a "you" and a "me" and that the act of death removes the peculiar and distinct "something" that makes us individuals?<hr></blockquote>

Removing the veil of life, you are able to more clearly see what is underneath.

I'm not versed in Eastern Religions. I don't know exactly what they believe, but it doesn't seem like it's any different than any other religious belief, to me. When you die, you change states. Every religion believes that. There are even theories, based in the Quantum Physics world, about what happens to your body's energy after death. Remember, Einstein's Theories tell us that you can not create or destroy energy, and human bodies run on energy.

What I understand, from Buddhist beliefs is that if you could make yourself aware of the truth of everything you could experience being one with a tree, or one with anything esle, even in this life. But, that being human makes it diffucult to see the reality of things and most people aren't able to until death. I believe that is, in part, what meditation is supposed to be about in Buddism.

Humans are imperfect (another staple of religion).


For the rest of your post, I suggest reading one of those Hawking books, rather than Wikipedia blurbs, if you are truly interested in learning what Quantum Theory is about.

Wave and particle theory, is interesting, but I don't see how it apply's to anything that Schwinn said in the Sopranos. That's about molocules that can be measured as either a wave or a particle, but not both at the same time. And it appears to be a matter of our measuring methods, that makes it so, because we have to alter the particle's state to be able to measure it.



</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=jayduck>jayduck</A> at: 4/4/06 11:34 am

Re: Tony Belief Systems and random gibberish

#25
We can discuss Quantum Physics versus whatever other theories until we are blue in the face. That really was never my point to take up advocacy for that. The point is about Tony Soprano.

And while you can raise some questions for which I just don't have the answer to in real life, we are still just talking about this TV show. And unless the TV show is bringing up these questions, it doesn't apply.

So, here are questions, just from the show. If Chase didn't intend Tony to go down this path with Eastern spirituality and Interconnectness/Quantum Theory...

1)Why did he keep showing the Indian saying "a Great Wind pushes me along..."?

2)Why reinforce that idea with Tony saying he felt he was being "pushed somewhere"?

3)Why connect that to Schwinn, by way of him using Tornados and wind as his example?

4)Why end the show with Tony, peacefully, watching the wind?

5)Why continue to bring back the image of Monks with the show, Kung-Fu? It was even a "teaching" part with The old Monk giving David Carridan a lesson.

6)Why cast an untrustworthy face for the Pastor?

7)Why have Tony, verbally reject the Pastor's ideas and not those of the Indian saying, Schwinn, or the Monks?


I tried to answer your questions, as best as I could, with my limited understanding of Quantum Physics and Eastern Philosophy. But your questions seem to be issues that you have with those theories, not issues that were actually brought up in the show, so I'm not really sure how they apply.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p098.ezboard.com/bthechaselounge.showUserPublicProfile?gid=jayduck>jayduck</A> at: 4/4/06 11:55 am

Re: Tony Belief Systems and random gibberish

#26
Mr. Geb, thanks for your thoughtful reply. When your posts omit the sarcasm and innuendo, they are a pleasure to read.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>I think it is highly questionable to say that Tony DOES in fact “feel” different. . . . how long is that going to last? I’m not convinced he was fundamentally altered.<hr></blockquote>

I'm basing this on the fact that in the first scene with the nurse, he tells her he feels "not himself" since he awoke from the coma. I agree with respect to the permanence. We don't know how long it's going to last. Interesting that he was already telling Janice, more or less, that he's changed for life ("from now on, ever day's a gift".) Seems he is telling Melfi something very similar in the previews for next week. Maybe he's trying to convince others (or himself) that he can really change.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>When my sister and I were bickering over weather or not the door and the house originally represented heaven or hell we realized that maybe these particular distinctions of good and evil, specific to only one religion are irrelevant and what Tony was really frightened of was death itself.<hr></blockquote>

I don't agree that Christianity is the only religion that allows for or contemplates opposing forces of good and evil. They are staple concepts within Islam, for example, from what I know of it. But I see your argument.

I would offer that, in the coma, Tony at one point actually seems to favor death to life (the end of Join the Club) because he understood life to involve a whole lot of serious and continuing problems. When he actually got to death's doorstep and had a glimpse at what lay beyond it for him, he became frightened enough that he found life's problems far less repellant. When he spoke with Schwinn after the coma, he seemed to intuitively view the Inn as something beyond mere death. He stated that he felt he was being "pulled toward something" that he never wanted to go back to (which, if it was mere death, is something he has to know is impossilbe). And then he specifically mentioned that the "something" pulling him made him wonder about Heaven and Hell. Combined with the many symbols of Hell populating the coma (the red-handled staircase, the parallels some suggested of the different floors to Dante's Inferno, the wildfires of Costa Mesa, the helicopters looking for a "perp", etc.) I'm of the view that Tony was afraid of more than mere death, more than a simple transition into nothingness and a termination of consciousness.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Much of Buddhist philosophy and the whole central idea of meditation is to simply abandon the ego and arrive at the realization that the “self” is an illusion<hr></blockquote>

See, I'm back to finding a circle that totally wrecks my ability to understand this. There can be no "realization" unless there is a "self" to make it. Realizing implies a cognitive process utilizing both the mind and the senses, the very instruments of individuality and subjective experience, which then must perform the seemingly impossible task of convincing themselves that they don't exist. I don't expect you (or anyone here) to make me "get" this, just explaining why I find it impossible to understand.

I understand connectedness. I understand interrelatedness, common ancestry. I understand the Big Bang and the notion that all matter in the universe originated from an infinitely dense condensation of matter that had no constituent parts because it was infinitely dense. And if that's as far as Schwinn went, I wouldn't still be posting in this thread.

But he specifically postulated that there was no such thing as a single, constituent entity in the universe (other than, paradoxically, the molecule!), no discrete organism other than the universe itself. Kudos to those of you that can understand and/or accept this. I can't understand it which is necessarily going to affect my ability to evaluate how Tony is receiving it.

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Re: Tony Belief Systems and random gibberish

#27
Jayduck, thanks for your thorough and informative replies. You are correct that much of what I raised in the prior post concerns my difficulties in understanding/accepting what Schwinn had to say. But, as I stated in reply to Mr. Gebowitz, I obviously can't fully appreciate whether and to what extent Tony has "signed on" to a particular belief system if I myself can't even understand what that system is.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Well, your body is made up of enzymes, red and white blood cells and all sorts of other tiny little "organisms" that have their own agendas and do things to keep you alive. If it weren't for certain protein digesting enzymes, you wouldn't be able to send singles from your brain to your hands to type. But are you aware of those enzymes? They are all seperate from each other, but all a part of you.<hr></blockquote>

I find your example (by virtue of the bolded portion) entirely reasonable and far more cogent than what Schwinn actually stated. He negated the very existence of any constituent elements or organisms in the universe (except, as I have noted before, in his paradoxical acknowledgement of "molecules"). He stated, "It's actually an illusion, those two boxers as separate entities. Separate entities is just the way we choose to perceive them. They appear to be two separate things, but they're not."

No, I'm not aware of the enzymes in my body from empiric sensation or cognition, but I can accept vicarious scientific knowledge of them by which I acknowledge their existence as discrete entities with individual identities that they do not forfeit simply by virtue of being part of the larger system of my body. They have physical, atomic, and chemical parameters that uniquely define what they are just as I have.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>Wave and particle theory, is interesting, but I don't see how it apply's to anything that Schwinn said in the Sopranos.<hr></blockquote>

It's relevant because Schwinn invoked by name "Schroedinger's equation", meaning his wave equation for measuring electron location and momentum based on a model that denies a particle identity to the electron. He also stated that we are "all part of the same quantum field", which goes back to his "soup of molecules" (or subatomic particles) definition and has been interpreted by determinists as allowing an accurate prediction of atomic movement and activity (hence an accurate behavioral prediction of all organisms they comprise). Since Schwinn is relying on Schroedinger's equation (rightly or wrongly) for his views, that equation, and the broad school of philosophical thought that aligns with it (determinism) are fair game, as are the opposing theories espoused by Bohr/Heisenberg in the "uncertainty principle", which acknowledges a dual particle/wave nature to electrons and which finds philosophical support in the form of Emmanuel Kant and his ideas opposing determinism and asserting the importance of organisms with free will (read separate individual identities). This may be delving deeper than Tony did, but it's nothing that wasn't specifically invited by Schwinn himself.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>1)Why did he keep showing the Indian saying "a Great Wind pushes me along..."?

2)Why reinforce that idea with Tony saying he felt he was being "pushed somewhere"?

3)Why connect that to Schwinn, by way of him using Tornados and wind as his example?

4)Why end the show with Tony, peacefully, watching the wind?

5)Why continue to bring back the image of Monks with the show, Kung-Fu? It was even a "teaching" part with The old Monk giving David Carridan a lesson.<hr></blockquote>

I am not disputing that Tony seems greatly intrigued by the notion of "oneness" or "connectedness" put to him by the monks and Schwinn. I am not ready to conclude that that is the end destination of his spiritual journey rather than a starting place.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>6)Why cast an untrustworthy face for the Pastor?<hr></blockquote>

Possibly to acknowledge that there are a lot of untrustworthy folks peddling Christianity? I would ask further, though, why did Tony even entertain this guy (he was, afterall, with Janice's narcoleptic friend.) Why did Tony actually submit to prayer in the name of Christ, cross himself, and offer what appeared to be sincere thanks to the pastor afterwards?

I've been in hospitals with many relatives where pastors, ministers, and the like come in and want to pray, talk, or otherwise counsel the patient. My folks didn't have Tony's reasons to eschew God, yet they were perfectly comfortable making short work of these visitors when they presented themselves. Tony was surprisingly receptive, I thought, to having them in the room and actually listening to what they had to say.

That was especially true when he even allowed the pastor in the second time while Chris and Hesh were present. Sheer embarrassment, it seemed to me, would have had him answer the pastor's question "is it okay to visit?" with a "no, why don't you come back later." Instead he invited him in, offered that the prayer might have helped, said "it must be nice to have something to hold onto" (which drew a strange, disapproving look from Chris), and didn't even rule out going to the guy's church, which flat out shocked me.

<blockquote>Quote:<hr>7)Why have Tony, verbally reject the Pastor's ideas and not those of the Indian saying, Schwinn, or the Monks?<hr></blockquote>

The only ideas he rejected were those that were patently absurd in view of the state of scientific knowledge.

You do not agree, but I think he highly questioned (not rejected) Schwinn's "separate entities is only how we choose to perceive" them bit. He replied with "I didn't choose nothin'" and again later with "get outa here" or words to that effect.

Most important was the implicit challenge he issued to the notion of no duality or distinct entities in the universe when he related being pulled toward something he didn't want to return to and identifying that something, in all probability, as hell. That is a direct challenge to what Schwinn espouses.

I don't think we will know for quite some time what Tony will end up believing and what mix of influences will finally prevail in those beliefs. I do have strong intuition that he will encounter another, far more sophisticated and effective agent of Christ down the road, one that will make a better advocate than the pastor from this ep. Of course that feeling is of little relevance until it is vindicated, but, if it is, I'm sure we will revisit this topic at that time.

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Re: Tony Belief Systems and random gibberish

#30
From FOMW: "I don't think we will know for quite some time what Tony will end up believing and what mix of influences will finally prevail in those beliefs. I do have strong intuition that he will encounter another, far more sophisticated and effective agent of Christ down the road, one that will make a better advocate than the pastor from this ep. Of course that feeling is of little relevance until it is vindicated, but, if it is, I'm sure we will revisit this topic at that time."

I think we might find that Melfi plays an important role here in helping Tony integrate what he has learned. Tony is at a real crossroads right now - at the brink of making real changes. His psychotherapy with Melfi has never been more important than right now.

As I see it, Tony is going to face a real spititual crisis when he becomes aware that his mob life can not coexist with true spiritual transformation. I don't think Tony realizes this yet. When he does - what then? How does he reconcile his life with new spiritual beliefs? As he told Eugene in Ep1, "there's no retiring from this thing." Or is there?

Jtod








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