For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.
(Note: These threads will probably seem fragmented. They are loose ends from a choppy and often interrupted period of time.)
Lark62 - “Evidence for imaginary friends either exists or does not exist. This is a question of fact, not belief.
As no evidence for the existence of imaginary friends is forthcoming after 2000 years for christianity, and various numbers of centuries for other religions, it is safe to say that it is a fact that no evidence exists. “
First, if your “friend” is imaginary, the next question is, to what degree is your “friend” imaginary. And, to what degree is underlying reality being represented by the dream?
This leads to the question: To what degree is “underlying reality” imaginary?
Best to just assume that “reality and imaginary” are the same thing.
The resulting singularity of view resolves the dilemma. The evidence as it were.
“For those with ears to hear.”
Truth Teller - “Atheism is the knowledge that there is no verifiable evidence of any god.”
Sorry, …. what makes it “knowledge”? At the very least it is a “belief” that there is knowledge of some sort that indicates no verifiable evidence of any god.
As utterly subjective as any myth. And, as valid on those terms, but no more so.
This is the nature of our existence. The open ended question is a clue to the answer.
Timothy (TRiG) - “There are some opinions I disagree with. The arguments in their favour seem to me lacking in some way, perhaps by being based on presuppositions which I do not share, or perhaps due to a failure in logical reasoning from those presuppositions.”
(Was going to comment on your blog rather than here, but didn’t want to submit my email address. This was based on other things that I saw there. Sorry.)
I have been studying the theist/atheist debate for a year now. By this I mean, as demonstrated in other people. Within myself it has been in excess of 40 years.
Presuppositions on the part of both positions, is usually the obstacle that inhibits accurate understanding.
This is usually related to some form of anthropomorphism. Or concepts of a “supernatural” being.
Better results can be achieved by contemplation of God as Singularity. A practice of “seeing through” the dualism of relative experience.
When asked, or upon asking, who created the Creator?; don’t fall for it!
The root of existence is infinity. Not different from it.
There is nothing that is not God. Nothing is “supernatural”. God does not “exist”. God is existence. The potential to exist. Awareness. Very simple really.
(I am echoing some comments by Ford1968. He was talking about periods of doubt and failure.)
Just like we recognize saintly insight, and intend to BE LIKE THAT.
We see mistakes made and understand why they were made. What myopic attachments or desires, blinded us (or them). So we resolve to DO BETTER.
As Judas (bless his soul), had a part to play. So, the good teachers, when we are blessed to meet them.
This place, is a place of tensions and compliment.
Still, the Great Way remains untouched.
As you say, we are perfect, even in doubt.
John Lombard responding to Linda_LaScola - “Those who live in poverty also tend for the most part to have a feeling that they have little control over their lives; whereas those who are prosperous have many more choices and opportunities, and therefore a greater sense of control over their own lives. Therefore, for those who feel that they have no power, that they have no control over their lives, it is comforting to believe…”
James Mulholland responding to Linda_LaScola - “I agree with the conclusions of this thread. I try to remember that the more control we have over our personal lives, the less we have to offset the often brutal randomness of life with a religious belief system.”
Thinking in terms of “control…over our personal lives”, just illustrates the adage of the rich man and his camel like qualities, in proximity to the eye of a needle.
Who is this “I’, or “we” that has control?; That somehow owns themselves?
Frankly, I have no problem understanding the typical deficiencies of grass roots Christianity. But it still bugs me when people, especially the teachers of it, fall so short of connecting the dots.
This thing “Heaven” for instance. Think in terms of “Enlightenment” for God’s sake.
“Original sin”, the confusion of identity. The trance of ego in the hall of mirrors.
(Responding to a blog on “Rational Doubt” by John Compere. He is a former Baptist preacher, the blog was called No Such Thing as ‘Spiritual’.)
Instead of practising this mantra; “I do not have a soul, there is no such thing.” Why not leave the whole thing open ended? Then you have not strangled the possibility of revelation. And not preached something that you still have no real understanding of.
You must remember, that all of your early training was in Christian terms, and I assume Baptist to boot. This tradition has never specialised in cultivating “spiritual” experience beyond the emotional states that you reference.
There would be considerable benefit if you investigated traditions that have looked deeper into the matter.
The first thing the Guru would tell you is to watch out for attachments and expectations.
Even in the throes of a “transcendent emotional experience”, If there is a self, separate from the experience, then you are still in orbit around the personal. Not transcendent yet. Still work to do. At least, if you are actually an earnest student.
The issue of “soul” doesn’t even need to arise. But please tell me how a Monarch butterfly can travel to a specific tree in Mexico that it has never seen.
Best to leave the questions open. Only answering them in song.
MNb - “There is the nagging problem though that all means we know to interact with our material reality are material as well.”
Has “material reality” been proven yet? Where does it begin and end? (I don’t mean the “construct” in your or my imaginations.)
“So how is the immaterial soul, which by definition lacks such means, supposed to interact with our material body?”
Until the first question is brought into focus “immateriality” seems like a red herring.
MNb - “Or in your somewhat clumsy formulation: ‘What is outside of reality?’ Now it’s totally OK with me that this question for you only points to god. “
It must have been a clumsy formulation indeed.
My whole point is that “material reality”, is not separate from “reality”, it is the whole shebang. Nothing outside of it except ‘potential’. And that is not outside, but the root cause. Always present.
So, “immateriality” of soul ( or God ) is a distraction from understanding the situation.
Here is a question, although I stick my unqualified neck out in asking it; Is mathematics something that is “discovered”, or is it “created” by Humans?
If “discovered”, then, what sense organ perceives it?
Was it really “immaterial” when we only counted in fives or twos?
So, it will be confusing to try and answer your two questions because I don’t know if they still stand; Given the flaw in your understanding of what I meant.
To cut to the chase. My entire premiss is that, there is ‘Only God’. The Entirety. Chopping it up into pieces is something that a specialized part of consciousness does. This too, is seamlessly integrated within the Entirety. And therefore, is only completely understood as not different from it. Singularity.
What type of proof could possibly be provided by me to you?
Sohahiyoh - “well said, brmckay reminds me of a story about a Russian boy at school under Stalins ‘reign’ where every morning his teacher said ‘remember class, there is no God!’ that kinda gets a kid to think. Why is it so important to seal ourselves within hard edged conclusions? hard shells can often crack the easiest. Keep the edges soft…we may look at other cultural definitions of spirit and soul and actually learn something.”
Thank you. (For the story and for your wise voice. For others reading this, please take a look at Sohahiyoh’s comment history and blog, if you haven’t already. Very clear.)
MNb - “Math is a language and as any language developed by humans.”
Ok, thank you then.
Kinda explains our communication problem. Doesn’t it?
Let’s give it a rest for now. I think we’ve gone around all this before.
MNb - “You’re welcome.
(quoting me) ‘Kinda explains our communication problem.’
Yeah. My thumbrule is to blame myself when someone writes that I misunderstand him/her. It makes discussions easier.”
What is this about blame?
We all have different things going on. Different “rules of thumb” by which we organise our experience.
Your last comment was a good answer to my question and brought everything into focus. At least it did for me.
I was quite happy for the insight.
I only suggested that we rest for a while. I’d like to process what I learned.
James – “Got any evidence that one particular ancient Middle Eastern deity is the creator of everything? Or just more word salad?”
But try adding curiosity to the mix and see what happens.