The Long Trajectory

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I recently picked up a copy of "The Long Trajectory" by Dr Eric Weiss.

This doesn't seem to have been discussed much here (though SCI makes a brief reference to it), and it really does seem interesting. It explains Whitehead's argument in a more congenial way and he claims to extend it to include the phenomena of reincarnation and continued existence after death in 'transpersonal worlds'.

As you can tell, I am still making slow progress, and I wonder if others can comment on the book.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Trajectory...B085T65TQV

David
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-05-18, 08:57 PM)David001 Wrote: I recently picked up a copy of "The Long Trajectory" by Dr Eric Weiss.

This doesn't seem to have been discussed much here (though SCI makes a brief reference to it), and it really does seem interesting. It explains Whitehead's argument in a more congenial way and he claims to extend it to include the phenomena of reincarnation and continued existence after death in 'transpersonal worlds'.

As you can tell, I am still making slow progress, and I wonder if others can comment on the book.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Long-Trajectory...B085T65TQV

David

Well as you note I've mentioned Weiss in some threads ->

https://psiencequest.net/forums/thread-e...ight=weiss

https://psiencequest.net/forums/thread-p...6#pid26426

(I posted it in one of threads I link to but for convenience here's the FREE draft version he's posted if anyone is on the fence about buying the book.)

I do think he almost figures out a great metaphysics, but the concept of Whiteheadian Occasions leads to certain oddities if we [are] thinking of them as discrete & temporary. For example there's the claim that we are most in relation to Occasions generated by our past selves but this also seems to break the continuity of identity.

So I would say there is something about the Self that isn't merely transitory, similar perhaps to how what is "immaterial" about consciousness is not resolved by invoking different kinds of special materials like spirit stuff or ectoplasm.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2024-05-18, 10:18 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 3 times in total.)
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  • stephenw
(2024-05-18, 10:08 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Well as you note I've mentioned Weiss in some threads ->

https://psiencequest.net/forums/thread-e...ight=weiss

https://psiencequest.net/forums/thread-p...6#pid26426

(I posted it in one of threads I link to but for convenience here's the FREE draft version he's posted if anyone is on the fence about buying the book.)
Well I really lashed out and bought the Amazon book for £2.99! A real Amazon Kindle book fits in with Kindle in a much nicer way.
Quote:I do think he almost figures out a great metaphysics, but the concept of Whiteheadian Occasions leads to certain oddities if we [are] thinking of them as discrete & temporary. For example there's the claim that we are most in relation to Occasions generated by our past selves but this also seems to break the continuity of identity.

So I would say there is something about the Self that isn't merely transitory, similar perhaps to how what is "immaterial" about consciousness is not resolved by invoking different kinds of special materials like spirit stuff or ectoplasm.

I am bogging down a bit in the book right now, but I was impressed that he recognises the importance of blending his theory into contemporary physics.

When I have made attempts to read Whitehead's ideas directly, I have got petty stuck.

David
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I have somewhat given up on this 'expensive' book. He just seems to introduce one complexity after another.

I would like to know if others have reached this unfortunate conclusion. Perhaps the lack of discussion of this topic suggests they have.

David
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-05-25, 09:42 AM)David001 Wrote: I have somewhat given up on this 'expensive' book. He just seems to introduce one complexity after another.

I would like to know if others have reached this unfortunate conclusion. Perhaps the lack of discussion of this topic suggests they have.

David

It's not a bad book but its intended audience felt very specifically those people who believe in Survival, God, and the irreducibility of consciousness *but* also want a complete metaphysical picture.

Since I think it ultimately ends up going to strange places - "you" are a collection of discrete moments in close causal relation - I don't know if it is worth going through as to me that is too bizarre a notion to be comforting.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(2024-05-25, 05:15 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: It's not a bad book but its intended audience felt very specifically those people who believe in Survival, God, and the irreducibility of consciousness *but* also want a complete metaphysical picture.

Since I think it ultimately ends up going to strange places - "you" are a collection of discrete moments in close causal relation - I don't know if it is worth going through as to me that is too bizarre a notion to be comforting.

Well I must admit I got lost - did you manage to read the book completely?

To the extent that I understood it, it seemed implausible that such a system would naturally give rise to conventional physics at all!

If you feel you understood it, it would be really illuminating if you could describe it!

David
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-05-25, 10:10 PM)David001 Wrote: Well I must admit I got lost - did you manage to read the book completely?

To the extent that I understood it, it seemed implausible that such a system would naturally give rise to conventional physics at all!

If you feel you understood it, it would be really illuminating if you could describe it!

David

It's been years and I read parts out of order, skimming/skipping a few things too.

I think the conventional physics part isn't too bad, since it just mirrors - IIRC - a lot of Whitehead's ideas which have been applied to QM's own discrete aspects?

If there's something you're specifically confused about I can read and offer my view, but not sure how helpful it would be... Confused
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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  • David001
(2024-05-25, 10:51 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: It's been years and I read parts out of order, skimming/skipping a few things too.

I think the conventional physics part isn't too bad, since it just mirrors - IIRC - a lot of Whitehead's ideas which have been applied to QM's own discrete aspects?

If there's something you're specifically confused about I can read and offer my view, but not sure how helpful it would be... Confused

My feeling is that a fair amount of conventional science is probably wrong - I mean GR and QM are actually inconsistent! Thus it may be a mistake to try to accommodate it all.

I was intrigued by the book at first, because it seemed that a radical change to the way we see reality might be a way to understand the gap between physics and psychology, NDE's etc.

David
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