BlindSpots

21 Good Reasons to Think before You Talk
By (author) Christian de Quincey

Other books by this author

BlindSpots
21 Good Reasons to Think before You Talk
By (author) Christian de Quincey

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Pages : 352

Book Size : 6 x 9

ISBN-13 : 9781620554463

Imprint : Park Street Press

On Sale Date : August 31, 2015

Format : Paperback Book

We live in a world filled with clichés or “thought viruses” that frequently fall out of the mouths of scientists, religious teachers, and journalists. Christian de Quincey casts a skeptical eye on 21 of these thought viruses--from “the universe exploded from nothing in a Big Bang” and “we create our own reality” to “nobody knows what consciousness is.”
Description

About BlindSpots

Examines 21 unquestioned assumptions that cloud our collective consciousness

• Reveals faulty thinking and conceptual blindspots that distort beliefs in science, philosophy, and spirituality--from “the universe exploded from nothing in a Big Bang” to “we create our own reality”

• Explains how “thought viruses” spread as we use these clichéd assumptions in our daily communications

We live in a world filled with clichés--convenient assumptions and unquestioned conclusions that many of us use without giving them a second thought. We all spread these “thought viruses,” infecting everyone we come in contact with. But many of these blindspots in how we think about ourselves and the world do not withstand rigorous scrutiny--or even casual scrutiny in some cases--yet they fall out of the mouths of scientists, religious teachers, journalists, and authors with dumbfounding frequency.

Over the years philosopher Christian de Quincey spotted these cognitive gremlins in books, blogs, websites, TV shows, movies, classrooms, and casual conversations--and he wondered: Why do so many people speak before thinking, spreading ideas that make no sense, yet fool us into thinking they do? How did these unquestioned beliefs about life, space, time, energy, consciousness, evolution, artificial intelligence, and even God take hold in our collective consciousness?

In this book, de Quincey deliberately provokes and illuminates the dark side of jumping to conclusions, casting a skeptical eye on 21 beliefs that keep science, philosophy, and spirituality in the dark--from “the universe exploded from nothing in a Big Bang” and “we create our own reality” to “nobody knows what consciousness is” and “everything is energy.” These ideas distort and block our understanding and openness to important questions about life, the universe, mind, matter, God, and the miraculous.

By exposing these thought viruses that take our minds hostage when we fail to think things through, de Quincey aims to help change the way we think not just about thinking but also about how we live our lives, interact with others, and contemplate the world around us.
Excerpt

Book Excerpt

5
Time
The Future Is Now


Have you ever tried to capture and hold a special moment? Ever tried to freeze-frame time, only to discover you can never grasp it? The present moment is elusive--here now, then gone as soon as it arrives. The fickle finger of time pushes on, indifferent to our desires or fears. Omar Khayaam expressed it well:

The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.


And yet, time does seem to be elastic. Ever notice how it slows down when you are waiting for a kettle to boil? Or how it zips by in a flash when you are really enjoying yourself? How does time speed up or slow to a crawl, yet the clock on the wall ticks away at its regular rate?

Time remains one of our deepest mysteries. It has inspired and frustrated philosophers, scientists, psychologists, and spiritual teachers the world over. Philosophers, in particular, have argued over the nature of time since . . . well, since time immemorial . . . and scientists have turned it into a dimension of space (thanks Einstein!).

Some folks even say time doesn’t really exist--it’s just an illusion. There is only now, including past and future. One thing seems clear: Somehow, time and consciousness are intimately connected.

The Paradox of Time

We know it intimately, yet when asked to define it, time leaves us scratching our heads. Even more than consciousness, attempts to define time pull us in circles. Time, it seems, cannot be precisely explained, expressed, or defined in language.

Try an experiment: See if you can come up with a definition of time that does not depend on a word that itself depends on the notion of time. I suggest it cannot be done. For example, “Time is the difference between before and after.” “Time is what flows from past to present to future.” “Time is the succession of moments or events.” “Time is duration.” “Time is change.”

All the italicized words above require an understanding of time for their meaning. The very nature of time appears to be tautological--it requires itself for its own definition--and, therefore, resists precise, clear definition. Nevertheless, time is so central to our experience and way of life it seems too important to leave uninvestigated.

So, what is time? If we can’t define it, how can we know it? Perhaps we can indicate it or approach it along a via negativa--by describing what it is not, by pointing out its opposites, or its absence.

Without time, the world would be utterly static. Nothing could happen; we might say, whimsically, that time is the “hap” in “happening.” Yet even a totally static universe is unimaginable without enduring, and duration involves a sense of time. Even an eternally static universe must endure, and therefore must be threaded on some fiber of time.

The Future Is Now

There’s no time to wait, the future is now!

Blindspot: Besides the contradiction of tenses, we must decide “which future?” Do we mean the next second or fifty billion years from now? If we mean that all futures are “now,” then we are effectively saying there is no distinction between any future moments. The next minute is no different from a moment fifty billion years hence. It amounts to saying the future has no future.

The same is true for every past moment that once was “now”--right back to the Big Bang. There would be no difference between the past, the present, and the future. In other words, NOTHING EVER HAPPENED! But for this absurdity to be possible, we would have to say that no time ever existed. Without time, what meaning do the words past, present, and future have?

If the notion of time is to preserve any meaning, a fixed relation between before and after must exist. If what was once before were to become after, then language breaks down and those words lose all meaning and usefulness.

The Arrow of Time

Time implies, even requires, duration. In other words, time consists of moments not timeless instants. Each moment endures or “smears” itself out in time. Unlike instants, moments are continuous--they flow into each other, in one direction.

Duration extends into the past (and preserves it), but it does not flow into the past. Its direction is future oriented; more accurately, it creates the future, since there is no future yet for it to flow into.

Our lived experience of time defies the limits of language. Time is indefinable, the present moment forever ineffable. The best human minds can do, it seems, is to reach deep inside the psyche for metaphors that may communicate something of the essence of time, by-passing the intellectual faculties and touching a nerve of emotion or intuition.

Communication about time is a poetic affair, not a matter of technical discourse. Time is intimately related to consciousness and cannot be divorced from an experiencing subject. All efforts to objectify time yield a lifeless shell, an abstraction. Time and consciousness flow together.

To know time, it must be experienced.

Table of Contents

Table of content

Acknowledgments

PREFACE    Speaking in Clichés

   Being and Nothingness

2    Reality

3
    The Universe

4
    Consciousness

5
   Time

6
   And Time Again

7
   Now

8
    Brains and Minds

9
    Energy

10
   Healing

11
   Information

12
   Relationship

13
   Humans 

14
    Evolution by Design?

15
    Fate or Free Will?

16
    Consciousness Rules

17
   Quantum Consciousness

18
   Nature

19
    The Living Universe

20
   Science Reigns

21
    God

EPILOGUE   
Final Exit

APPENDIX 1    Miracles

APPENDIX 2    Science of Mind and the Reflexive Universe

APPENDIX 3
    Panpsychism, Pantheism, and Panentheism

                     Bibliography

                     Index

                     About the Author
Author Bio
Christian de Quincey, M.A., Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Consciousness Studies at John F. Kennedy University and Dean of Consciousness Studies at the University of Philosophical Research. He is the award-winning author of Radical Nature and Radical Knowing as well as Consciousness from Zombies to Angels and Deep Spirit: Cracking the Noetic Code. The founder of the Wisdom Academy, he lives in Half Moon Bay, California.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

BlindSpots is a delightful book to read. It will make you think about ideas you secretly hunger to discuss deeply. Every chapter is bound to get you into a rich dialogue, if not with others, then at least within yourself. Read this book and you will go deep.”
Amit Goswami, Ph.D, author of Quantum Creativity and Quantum Economics

“In BlindSpots, Christian de Quincey pulls back the veil on the thoughtless, delusional ways we too often communicate. It’s not just that these shortcuts are wrong, they are also dangerous because they lead to behaviors and beliefs that our fragile species can no longer afford. This very wise, engaging book should be at the top of the reading list of everyone who is concerned about our future.”
Larry Dossey, M.D., author of One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters

“In this book, Christian de Quincey illuminates some of the biggest blindspots that keep people stuck. Be prepared to be challenged about ideas you probably take for granted. Be prepared to be amused and inspired.”
Marilyn Schlitz, Ph.D.
, president emeritus/senior fellow at the Institute of Noetic Sciences

“This important book by Christian de Quincey shows that by questioning our own assumptions more carefully we can arrive at a deeper and more accurate understanding of life’s complexities. De Quincey brings vitality and excitement to scientific, philosophical, metaphysical, and spiritual issues. I recommend this book for almost everyone.”
Jeffrey Mishlove, Ph.D.
, dean of transformational psychology, University of Philosophical Research

BlindSpots will make your brain hurt, but in a good way, like the aftereffects of exercise. De Quincey deftly unpacks 21 ideas that are often taken for granted to reveal why ‘deep thought’ philosophy remains a vital approach to understanding our complex world. You may agree with some of the ideas and disagree with others, but in all cases you will be invited to reconsider your core assumptions.”
Dean Radin, Ph.D.
, chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and coeditor in chief of Explore

“In his new book, Christian de Quincey focuses our attention on the ways in which erroneous or flabby or incoherent thoughts have become embedded in our everyday clichés. It is a delight to reflect upon these invisible clunkers in a critical way, and even if one ends up disagreeing with de Quincey, the end result is an improvement in one’s verbal expressions; one’s language feels brighter, fresher, and more alive.”
Brian Thomas Swimme, Ph.D.
, author of The Universe Is a Green Dragon and Canticle to the Cosmos

“. . . this book will help you think more clearly and converse more fruitfully on a wide range of subjects. BlindSpots is an excellent field guide for exploring some of the twenty-first century’s most challenging conceptual terrain.”
Michael Dowd
, author of Thank God for Evolution

“Professor de Quincey has a jeweler’s eye for questions concerning the nature of consciousness and its position in the world of nature. I always find his clear thinking and writing a pleasure to read.”
Allan Combs, Ph.D.
, director of consciousness studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies

“Reading de Quincey’s BlindSpots is a profoundly liberating experience. All of us absorb beliefs from the culture around us, and we limit ourselves by acting as if those beliefs are true. De Quincey subjects those ideas to his brilliant philosophical critique. We are left with our minds open, free to engage with the world in new and interesting ways. This is my favorite kind of philosophy--philosophy that frees us from limitations and opens us more richly to our participation in the universe!”
Eric Weiss, Ph.D., author of The Long Trajectory

“A provocative book that challenges many popular assertions about consciousness and the nature of reality. De Quincey encourages us to think for ourselves and base our beliefs on our own experience rather than hearsay or others’ opinions. Much food for thought in here for everyone.”
Peter Russell
, author of The Global Brain and From Science to God
Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

CONSCIOUSNESS STUDIES / PHILOSOPHY

BlindSpots is a delightful book to read. It will make you think about ideas you secretly hunger to discuss deeply. Every chapter is bound to get you into a rich dialogue, if not with others, then at least within yourself. Read this book and you will go deep.”
   --Amit Goswami, Ph.D, author of Quantum Creativity and Quantum Economics

We live in a world filled with clichés--convenient assumptions and unquestioned conclusions that many of us use without giving them a second thought. We all spread these “thought viruses,” infecting everyone we come in contact with. But many of these blindspots in how we think about ourselves and the world do not withstand rigorous scrutiny--or even casual scrutiny in some cases--yet they fall out of the mouths of scientists, religious teachers, journalists, and authors with dumbfounding frequency.

Over the years philosopher Christian de Quincey spotted these cognitive gremlins in books, blogs, websites, TV shows, movies, classrooms, and casual conversations--and he wondered: Why do so many people speak before thinking, spreading ideas that make no sense, yet fool us into thinking they do? How did these unquestioned beliefs about life, space, time, energy, consciousness, evolution, artificial intelligence, and even God take hold in our collective consciousness?

In this book, de Quincey deliberately provokes and illuminates the dark side of jumping to conclusions, casting a skeptical eye on 21 beliefs that keep science, philosophy, and spirituality in the dark--from “the universe exploded from nothing in a Big Bang” and “we create our own reality” to “nobody knows what consciousness is” and “everything is energy.” These ideas distort and block our understanding and openness to important questions about life, the universe, mind, matter, God, and the miraculous.

By exposing these thought viruses that take our minds hostage when we fail to think things through, de Quincey aims to help change the way we think not just about thinking but also about how we live our lives, interact with others, and contemplate the world around us.

CHRISTIAN DE QUINCEY, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Consciousness Studies at John F. Kennedy University and Dean of Consciousness Studies at the University of Philosophical Research. He is the award-winning author of Radical Nature and Radical Knowing as well as Consciousness from Zombies to Angels and Deep Spirit: Cracking the Noetic Code. The founder of the Wisdom Academy, he lives in Half Moon Bay, California.

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