The Winding Path – 086

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2014-08-15 18:20

There are “atheists”.

And there are “atheist/anti-religionists”.

The “anti-religionist” protrusion makes the latter spin in wobbly orbits.

2014-08-16 10:03 

Sabio Lantz - “I agree, and believe it or not, I am not of the anti-religion group.
In fact, see my most recent post called False generalization about ‘religion'”

Thank you for the clarification, I will adjust my conceptions about your purpose.

also…

Now that someone has finally forced me to look up “heuristic”, I will have to apologize to any future readers. It will probably get used ad-infinitum.

However, since all understanding in relative experience is “approximate”, I’m not sure what the “not guaranteed to be optimal” in it’s definition pertains to.

Unless of course, we are talking about enlightenment. And no phenomena of consciousness could be more heuristic or optimal. This is very confusing.

All kidding aside though, I enjoyed your blog and marvel at how you beat me to the “wobbly orbits” analogy.

Sabio Lantz - “LOL: Glad you enjoyed the ‘wobbly orbit’ value in my diagram. Feel free to comment there any time you wish. Challenges to my perceptions, my ideas and my rhetoric are coveted.”

2014-08-17 11:46

(Responding to a blog by Harry M. McCall titled “Debunking Christianity – The Evolution of God from Yahweh in a Box to the Super Mega Deity of the Universe”. )

Of course it is just human beings that you ridicule.  The evolution of their conceptualizations could be a source of celebration.  But then, who would read your blog?  Your talent would be wasted.  Your readers appetites left unappeased.

Or, as you have eloquently described by exaggerated contrast;  As our heads increasingly wrap themselves around the ineffable infinitude of the foundation, the storyline changes.  Since this is nature, it behaves like nature.  Always reaching, for a more “optimal” expression of itself.

Yes! Let the telling about God increase in coherence.  Until there is no external reference point to sustain the telling.  No one “left behind.”

Atheist or Theist.  Not really relevant.

2014-08-17 13:03

Harry H. McCall - “Your points are only valid if your god is not the historical textual God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Only if your god is derived from Processed Theology; but then you are now your own deity master who has, to reference Mark Twain, created a god in your own image.

Secondly, you’ve proven my thesis in that the god (I’m using a small ‘g’ on purpose) you have referenced would never be accept as the doctrinally dying, blood atoning, resurrected, coming future judge of the world. Your concept . . . and a concept is just that with out any historical doctrines, is not the Christian God, but a quick philosophical Heat and Eat mental creation that might make you feel warm and tingly all over, but essentially is a God with no, past, no demands on humanity to prove he exists or as one pastor put it; ‘A God which doesn’t cost anything isn’t worth anything’.

In conclusion, if your theological really was credible (apart from Processed Theology), then, as you pointed out, this blog would not be here neither would anyone be reading a blog you could could create on the do-it-yourself universal theological god you invented.”

“Your points are only valid if …”

Which points?

Harry H. McCall – “Odd . . . you are disturbed enough to post a comment, but now find my response to your comments (points) meaningless.

OK, you’ve proven your illusive god with an illusive reply.”

Not meaningless. It was a fair question. Since your response seemed more rhetorical than reflective, relative to what I said. Perhaps I am wrong, and will take a longer look at it soon, and see if I can followup. Don’t want to waste either of our times though, if my view is not of interest.

“…Odd…you are disturbed enough to post a comment…”

I was not disturbed, but rather, thought I should highlight something that may have been overlooked.

2014-08-21 20:22

Harry H. McCall - “Personally, I think you’ve presented a God from John B. Cobb’s volume on Process Theology: A Christian Natural Theology, Second Edition: Based on the Thought of Alfred North Whitehead.

First Mark Twain and now John B. Cobb’s. I suppose most people have given some thought to the nature of our existence and what it means.

I took a look a the wikipedia article on Process Theology, and saw some things that seem to express something similar to what I have said or might say.

But mine is just the current expression of a lifetime of enquiry. At least 40 years of that, being quite in earnest. Other uses of time, seeming frivolous. And by now impossible anyway.

The reason what I’ve said reminds you of these other writers, is that there is a natural path of reasoning to be followed.

The subject is the Entirety. It is emergent from an infinitude of potential. Sentience, as in “Self Awareness”, is inherent. The experience of the finite version of “Self” that you or I seem to experience is made of the same stuff, and is seamlessly integral with it. The polarities of complementarity, that make up the “Finite”, are the perfect expression of the primordial “I Am”.

I am not Christian, not Buddhist, not Hindu. I am also not in opposition to these things. I see meaning in their metaphors. It is like the genius of the dreaming mind.

The testimony of their saints confirm and illuminate my own contemplation.

I like what I have read of Mark Twain. However, like me or you, he works with what the moment presents. Makes of it what he is inclined to make of it. The process goes on. Never the same and always complete.

I’ll take a look at some of your other blogs as I get a chance. Learn a little more about this Process Theology thing, and try to get a more accurate understanding of your work here.

Hope I have not offended, or intruded unwittingly, in a discussion that is different than I imagined.

Harry H. McCall - “You and I have more in common than I appear to admit. My college and seminary education was in Bible and Christianity before I left due to religious politics . . . a Lutheran turned Baptists, who studied at a Wesleyan University and finally studied at a Presbyterian seminary.

If you pull up John B Cobb (the leading scholar of Process Theology) he was once a Biblical literalist who realized that the Bible could not continued to be believed in this manner and be meaningful. I think Rudolf Bultmann ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R… ) had a large impact on him as Bultmann had on me.

You seem like and interesting person, very different from the average Christian who comes to DC to attack and defend the orthodox doctrines of the Faith.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed our dialogue. Thanks

2014-08-23

GearHedEd - “That’s the problem: there isn’t any higher meaning to our lives.”

This isn’t a truth, just an attitude. I’m wondering why you have cultivated it, despite so many alternative examples all around.

Is it lack of imagination? Attachment to some disappointment? Judgement of others?

Without more input I can only guess, and point out that it is the result of choices and habits of thought.

” Once you’ve reproduced, you’re truly extraneous. So am I, but I’m honest enough to admit it”

The self that you refer to as “you” and “I”, seems to be limited in scope to the perishable echo of the absolute “I Am”. This personally useful, but finite organ, rides along with the body on it’s arc of relative existence, but it is not the sum of Being or Awareness.

Why do you infer that I am “dishonest” if I have come to a different conclusion about the nature and purpose of evolution?

 

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The Winding Path – 085

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2014-08-11 07:29

(Responding to a blog post on Patheos called “Science on Religion – Believing Impossible Stuff Is Dangerous. Except When It’s Awesome.” It was written by Connor Wood with whom I felt a great sense of solidarity.)

connorwood - “This is why I’m going to be leaving this comment section mostly to its own devices for the foreseeable future.”

First time here and glad I found your blog before you disengage from the comments section. The extra input, has given me a great sense of the quality of your work.

It seems clear to me, that the role of science is to inform theological speculation. Shape it’s evolution. Certainly not to replace it. I have often used the term “lobotomy” to represent that phenomena.

Who else but scientists can provide the evidence and language needed to wrap our heads around “Singularity” and “Infinitude”?

Who but the philosophers, poets and saints will remind them that it is God?

And has been all along.

2014-08-12 06:42

Sabio Lantz (responding critically to the same post) – “Telling the same damn story over and over and over is not entertaining the impossibility. It is just hearing rote stories. “

This statement indicates the need to recuse yourself from opinion on this. You aren’t addressing the spirit of his intended meaning. Or, the experience of those whose lives are grounded in mythic paradigms different than your own.

It reflects a very narrow egoic habit.

2014-08-13 08:34

(And, acknowledging another kindred spirit found in fellow commenter, Evan Skytree Snyder.)

Thank you for giving voice to the reasonable view, that we often intuit first, and acquire facts second.

I would also suggest that the facts themselves are less important than understanding the gestalt of a system. The latter, being the province of imagination. Especially when approaching the ultimate aggregation of systems that is God.

We also, don’t need to apologize for, or scorn, the more short sighted and silly articulations that we inherit from our ancestors. They make sense within their context. And, as you’ve said some are spot on and often way ahead.

This is where a sane, and non-oppositional application of science should step in. Catalyzing rather than dismantling the holistic view, with new information about it’s parts.

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The Winding Path – 084

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2014-08-08 09:00

(Responding to AugustineThomas who was responding to Kevin Osborne.  This is residual from the previous post.)

Kevin Osborne - ” I think stating that there is always more to understand, implying God, is reasonable compromise.”

This was the actual point he was making but you went right to …

AugustineThomas - “You’re an ignorant secularist ingrate.”

Following up with…

AugustineThomas - “…you baby murderers and sodomites have taken over.”

The combative reflexes of a battle blinded soldier, create something quite contrary to “grace”.

Which, he reminds you of in his next response.

Learning to see the evidence of “Christ” and the influence of “Holy Spirit” in the words and actions of “outsiders”, is obviously next on the curriculum.

As Kevin says “it is a process”. And I would add; Every moment, encounter and circumstance, is designed specifically for each of us. Flawlessly pointing the way. Instantaneously adapting to the choices that we make. Still, flawlessly pointing the way.

2014-08-09 11:38

Kevin Osborne -“Very beautifully stated how the next thing is there. I never thought of it like that.

I would never have thought the Holy Spirit existed as stated by my original religion, Roman Catholic, until fairly recently. Now I see what they were writing about. Any religion is not just a belief system, it is an attempt to understand in a difficult environment.

We are limited, but grace exists everywhere. If we wish to see, God will open the door. Perhaps with maddening tempo, but it will open. My experience.”

 

Glad you weren’t washed out to sea, and for your contributions here.

Always strong and on target.  Thanks for the confirmation.

“Any religion is not just a belief system, it is an attempt to understand in a difficult environment. “

Often very difficult indeed. The echos of genius and testimony of the ancestors reassure, but the journey is ours alone to make.

“…but it will open.”

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The Winding Path – 083

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2014-08-02 09:57

(responding to AugustineThomas who had been getting abundantly caustic – IMO)

At the risk of engaging the troll, what are you talking about?

You run around calling people and popes heretics, but offer nothing coherent beyond this running drivel.

You seem manically driven to be rude and and absurd.

2014-08-03 09:48

AugustineThomas - “You’re the troll you old hippie heretic. I’m sick and tired of fools like you bringing the Church to its knees with heresy and even outright apostasy and then trying to persecute the orthodox to cover your tracks.
Go back to “Clown Mass” you putz!”

As I was saying…

But putting the personal aside, why isn’t it idolatry to keep the “church” and throw out God?

Even with self declared “True Church” letterhead on the stationary.

2014-08-04 07:13

AugustineThomas - “Who threw out God? (I understand if you’re referring to the heretics who have afflicted the Church over the last five decades. They truly do Satan’s work by sowing great confusion among outsiders about the holiness of the One True Church.)”

I don’t know anything about “heretics” having no church to defend. And yet would quibble about the term “outsiders”.

I’m also curious about the significance of the “last five decades” in your scheme of things.

2014-08-05 08:51

AugustineThomas - “Jesus Christ founded a Church and gave authority over it to St. Peter. St. Peter founded the Holy See in Rome and the teaching authority of the Church grew up around it.
In 1962 we had something called Vatican II and a lot of people took it to mean many things it does not. Since then a lot of people have been preaching the cancer of the secularist belief system in the Church and trying to change the Church into something that pleases secularists rather than Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Not sure what “secularist belief system” might mean, except that the organization itself is embedded in the temporal and ever changing world.

Seems to me, that there is only so much one can expect from such an assemblage of motivation and agenda.

Best to contemplate God directly, without the layers of convention, dogma and opinion.

The question of heresy becomes moot. The remaining challenge; to honestly root out any tendency towards idolatry.

2014-08-06 09:41

AugustineThomas - “Most of what makes normal people hate the Christian religion comes from heretics who perverted orthodoxy, whether within the Church or outside of it.
All of mankind is incapable of truly comprehending the bible. For one man to try to do it is truly insane and leads to a lot of negative outcomes.
Another thing that chases many away from belief in the One True Church is that there are so many one-man theologies whose proponents all war against each other and established churches or make ridiculous, relativistic claims about everyone being right, whatever they believe. Most people think ‘ “well they either can’t agree on anything or else they have a ridiculous belief that all contradictory claims are true” ‘.
Humans yearn for the real truth and all the Church provides that, both because the greatest theologians in history have been orthodox members of the One True Church and especially because Christ only promised the protection of the Holy Spirit for the One Church he founded and gave authority over to St. Peter.
Without dogma, doctrine and tradition, we have chaos, which chases most people away from belief in Christ. Christ is very clear that the sacraments are necessary. The chaos of Protestantism convinces people that they can ignore Christ when they want to. especially on the point of the sacraments. To deny the sacramental nature of the Church, which Christ set forth, is to deny the Church itself.”

Thank you, I appreciate this effort to help me understand the situation from the “insiders” perspective.

Of course I have a lifetime of encountering Christians of all sorts. As a result, I have to occasionally review the merits and faults. Comparing to my current understanding of things. Rooting out my own blind spots and assumptions.

When I contemplate the meaning of “Jesus”, I never come away with the “Church” as the primary message or purpose of his incarnation.

When I read his words, It is always with an eye for clues to the nature of God as he knew it.

That is what I understand from his referring to himself as both the son of God and of Man.

“I and the Father are One”

“Love God with all your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself.”

“Love your enemy”

For me, the crucifixion was not a sacrifice required for the salvation of his followers. It was him demonstrating that death is not real. The mortal body does not sum up who we are.

“Turn the other cheek”

We are not finite. Our true nature is the infinitude of the source. God. Who he called his Father.

“As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be.”

If this is heresy, it does not warrant your ridicule and scorn. You yourself are also subject to the need for periodic review.

The guidance of the “Holy Spirit” is for all of us. But requires relinquishment of obstructive attachments.

Perhaps what you call the “One True Church”, is a construction based on your own limitations.

Whatever it turns out to be, it will share the characteristics of the eternal and changeless foundation. Manifesting in the world of temporal form in perfect complementarity.

2014-08-06 12:50

AugustineThomas brmckay – “I appreciate your viewpoints and I agree with much of what you say, but Christ is very clear that he wants a unified Church and that the Holy Spirit protects his Church.

‘And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.’

‘If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.’

‘He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who gathers not with me scatters  (Matt.12:30).’ “

I understand your angst then, when observing the mortal imperfection manifesting as the outward form of your church.

I myself do not know what to think of these proclamations that you attribute to Jesus. Since the process of sincere “knocking on the door” seems quite sufficient. At least in my life.

But, as with you, it is not Christ that I oppose, or hope to counter, with these discussions.

So, I’ll thank you again. And am inclined to let this thread wrap up now. It’s various readers can make of it what they will, according to their needs.

 AugustineThomas - “I’m glad you love our Lord and I’m not trying to outlaw the faith that has brought you joy and security in the Lord.
I’m making arguments about what’s best for the largest number of people. Many people are being prevented from happiness living their lives based on the orthodox teachings of the Church because many others are lying to them about the nature of the Church.
I’m not against your beliefs. I’m against people lying about and slandering the Church and convincing the gullible to follow a path that is not natural to them because they’ve been convinced the Church is evil, when it is quite the opposite.
God bless you! Thanks for the conversation!”

 

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The Winding Path – 082

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2014-08-01 09:37

R Vogel  - “There is no requirement for christians to be decent human beings anymore than a decent human being needs to be a christian.”

But of course, the tools applied towards that “decency” are to be respected. Just as failure of its achievement is lamented.

2014-08-01 09:43

Kevin Kirkpatrick - “My view is that Christianity was hijacked in 380 CE when Christianity was made the state religion of the Roman Empire. I think when people were forced to convert to Christianity, it permanently marred a beautiful religion turned it into something else. There have, of course, continued to be Christians who follow the loving example and words of Jesus, but once mandated by law, how could Christianity not turn obsessively legalistic and judgemental?”

“Religion” is such a ponderous word. Much like “Gravity”.

But dinosaurs learned to fly. How did that happen?

2014-08-01 10:05

The Irish Atheist (responding to a blog by Mark Sandlin) - “So you want to support and promote an organisation, but you don’t want to have to deal with the consequences of what that organisation has done throughout the world.

That’s rich.

Those people who ‘hijacked’ your religion with all it’s ‘baggage?’ They’re just as Christian as you. In fact, in many ways they’re better Christians, since they follow the tenants of your religion more closely.

The whole ‘but MY Christianity is about LOVE’ line is old and worn. Christianity has had 2,000 years to prove it’s about love. It’s failed. And you whitewashing the grave isn’t going to help.”

“Christianity” is just a word.

You are as stuck with it as they are. The emotional reaction you have is just an emotional reaction.

Condemning the wise and compassionate along with the the thuggish and cruel?

Just because of the limits of lexicon? What help or understanding does that offer?

2014-08-03 09:01

FireInSpace (responding to comment above) - “So, I hate to break it to you, but dinosaurs actually can’t fly. Those things you are thinking of – like a pterodactyl – those weren’t dinosaurs. Those were flying reptiles, which is a little different than dinosaurs. Also, some of them probably didn’t fly so much as glide, other flew like an albatross.

You can learn more here: http://www.livescience.com/240

Thanks for the thoughtful clarification.

And, since my excellent analogy has already faded into irrelevance, I’ll further it’s disassembly, by quoting to you from the link you supplied.

“Pterosaurs lived among the dinosaurs and became extinct about the same time, but they were not dinosaurs; they were flying reptiles. Modern birds did not descend from pterosaurs; their ancestors were small, feathered, terrestrial dinosaurs.”

2014-08-05 10:36

FireInSpace (responding to a very helpful expansion of the discourse by WilmRoget) - “right, so, when they started flying, they were no longer dinosaurs, they were birds.

Dinosaurs didn’t ever learn to fly.”

If FireInSpace evolves to engage his associative faculties and discovers the potential of poetics, has he learned to fly? Even if his name is now Bob?

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The Winding Path – 081

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2014-07-28 06:48

brmckay (responding to Kaleb Kittrell) - “Curious what Jesus’s take would be on Bibleism?”

Ottomus James (responding to  brmckay 9 months later) - “Well, since he affirmed the account of Jonah and the big fish/whale (Matthew 12), I think it’s safe to say he took it literally.”

Perhaps or perhaps not. Thanks though, for getting me to read a little bit. It’s been a long time.

As for:

“Whereas the New Testament does maintain moral teachings from the Old, as is the case with homosexuality.” – Ottomus James

I would like to see the “red letter” edition so I can see who is maintaining these “moral teachings”.

I trust Jesus to surf the metaphors with impeccable skill. But which “brothers, sisters or mother” really does the “Will of the Father who is in Heaven?”

So many now-a-days think that means checking off behaviors on a list of do’s and don’ts.

2014-07-28 09:57

(Responding to a blog post by Carl McColman)

“When we seek to rest in the vast silence beyond all words, we are seeking the light which is so dazzling bright that it seems utter darkness to us. After all, this is a mystical (hidden light). When we try to foster virtue and eliminate vice, we do it by the grace of the true light which enlightens everyone.” - Carl McColman

I like this line a lot. Awareness of God leaves no room for Otherness. Neither for, nor against. Just so.

2014-07-28 09:50

(Responding to a very proprietary comment by Victoria DePalma about the above mentioned blog. You would have to see it to believe it.)

The impression I get from this incomprehensible spiel, is of some bureaucratic control freaks trying to grab the infinite grace of Christ for their own. Only to run off with a leaky sieve filled with air.

Sorry, to be so blunt, but this mumbo jumbo does nothing but stir up clouds of dust.

2014-07-30 08:31

Ottomus James (continued from above) - “But that does not mean that there do not also exist “lists”/descriptions of acts/behaviors/ways of life that indicate internal spiritual realities. “

I prefer not to practice thinking in the plural, as in “spiritual realities”.

Simplifying to the intended message that God is All.

Jesus would have been teaching about direct experience of that. i.e. Christ.

Not setting himself up as a deity and especially not crippling people with lists.

Ottomus James - “Christ mentioned some of these: giving to the poor, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, (metaphorically) cutting off your right hand to avoid sinning, forgiving your brother, not causing children to stumble, etc.”

All these teachings from the mouth of one who knows. Laying the ground for the Intuitive leap.

There is only God. The stillness of the center and the world of changing form. Not different.

This can be known without reference to the Bible, or even knowledge of what is in it. It is our true nature and the driving force of evolution.

The nature of Infinitude. God.

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The Winding Path – 080

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2014-07-20 10:03

Asemodeus responding to Ray - “Besides not actually proving divine creation in the first place. That is some interesting cognitive dissonance you have there.”

A sensation of smug satisfaction is not evidence that you have refuted, or even addressed, his points.

2014-07-20 10:40

TapestryGarden - ” I was raised by atheists and they were quite intellectual rather than ideological.”

Yes! Removing the mirror of ideological thinking moves the enquiry to a higher level.

So much nonsense on both sides of the debate drops away. Leaving refined and complementary tools of reason and faith alone to fulfill their potential.

Let’s call it wisdom.

2014-07-21 07:32

Asemodeus - “It’s always funny watching christians get mad when you ask of them to provide evidence.”

Have you first established your own credentials as Fair Witness?

For starters, what in his writing has indicated to you that he is getting “mad”?

As for “evidence”, what kind of preparation have you made in yourself to perceive it?

2014-07-22 06:46

(Responding to Asemodeus’s evasive ridicule.)

They seemed like “Fair” questions to me.

Not sure what you mean by “blame”.

Your relationship to the “Larger Cosmic Domain”, is your own business. i.e. “your god”. And I don’t need you to prove anything about it. I can see for myself.  This is fair.

“Let me know when you are ready to provide evidence for your god claims. Until you do, there is zero reason to take you seriously.” – Asemodeus

This is not.

2014-07-22 10:13

(Asemodeus quoting me and responding.)

brmckay - “Not sure what you mean by ‘blame’.”

Asemodeus – “Your total lack of responsibility in the discussion.”

brmckay - “I can see for myself.”

Asemodeus - “Confirmation bias is a common problem for christians. Which is why, in science, we have falsifiability and peer review. Since, if something is actually real, it would be real for everyone. Reality isn’t subject to only your imagination.”

brmckay – “This is not.”

Asemodeus – “Not my fault you refuse to take even yourself seriously.”

Not everybody is a Scientist. Not everybody is a Christian. Be careful of assumptions.

As for reality? Show me something that is not real, when the Totality is the starting point.

My (and your’s for that matter) imaginings, are as real as any quasar. If one traces Existence to it’s root.

It seems to me that you fixate on Prakriti and ignore Purusha. This may be your way, but it is not mine.

And probably not Ray’s either. Though he would frame his enquiry differently.

2014-07-23 18:13

Asemodeus - “… it will really open your mind for once.”

Fascinatingly ingenuine.

Asemodeus - “Ah ok, it is the gibberish transition with the apologetics.”

Reflexive rhetoric.

Asemodeus - “That’s very delusional and very dangerous. … Which is why eye witness testimony is the lowest form of evidence we can muster, if you can even call it that.”

Just admit you have no talent for it. That would be the first step towards:

” ‘questioning yourself’ and ‘double checking’ your assumptions.” – Asemodeus”

This stops being fun when I start to mimic your bad habits. If we can’t proceed to some level of understanding, I’ll throw in the towel and give you the satisfaction of yet another “victory” over ….what?

Before I do, it is timely to reiterate one of the more interesting, but unaddressed questions posed to you.

What kind of preparation have you made in yourself to perceive this apparently elusive “evidence” of God?

I am also evidence driven, but will set the terms for my own enquiry. Based on what Life sets before me. Guided by my own sense of integrity.

Why would you suggest otherwise?

2014-07-24 06:43

Asemodeus – ” This whole conversation started because you wouldn’t provide evidence for your claims like a big boy. “

No, it started because I took it upon myself to point out that you were mistaking smug satisfaction as evidence that you had refuted Ray’s points. And now I have demonstrated that this is a consistent pattern. A fundamental personality trait. Not evidence of any sort of science, philosophy or ultimate truth.

I am happy that you have illustrated so clearly the neurotic and diseased nature behind an ego driven version of atheism.

Others may be inspired to pursue healthier and more authentic forms.

2014-07-24 18:20

(Responding to Asemodeus but certainly ready to wrap it up.  Hoping that this is still useful.)

What’s tiresome, is this foolish conversation.

It is irrational to go around insisting on proof that Existence exists.

You anthropomophize something that you call god, and then dare people to provide evidence that it exists.

I offer you all your previous comments in this thread, as that evidence.  Your conceptualization of what god is, does indeed exist. You rehearse it continually.

I prefer to watch reality unfold through the lense of my Life. Making choices that add value and clarity to it.

It disturbs me that you are so disturbed by this.

What’s with the violent cartoon below? And what do you mean by this?

Asemodeus - “You presuppose the existence of god, with no evidence, and just base even more assumptions onto it. That’s dangerous thinking, and it needs to stop.”

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The Winding Path – 079

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2014-07-19 11:21

(Responding to a Blog post about the flood of children illegally entering the United States from the south.)

I’ve read through most of the comments so far. Didn’t see any mention of the part that we in the U.S. play in keeping the drug cartels in business.

It’s time to put some shame on users of cocaine. All we do is arrest people. We need to help them see the harm that their lack of awareness causes.

Like our devastation of the environment, the world we live in can only take so much.

Glossing over the root cause of the problem, inevitably yields the results that we see now.

There is one root cause. Lack of Awareness is our primal sin, and we waste so much time obsessing over the effects of it. And those get worse every season.

2014-07-20 09:41

Asemodeus - “You don’t need to appeal to any divinity to understand Newton’s mathematics and physics. Because such appeals do not add to our understanding, they merely slow us down.”

Yes, but then you have limited yourself to only understanding mathematics and physics.

Ruling out Gnosis just means you have turned a blind eye to our full potential. Content to collect shiny baubles on the beach.

This indeed “slow[s] us down”.

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The Winding Path – 078

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

2014-07-07 10:19

(Resonding to an article countering the recent Presbyterian Church’s divestment from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.)

Everyone should hold the Israelis accountable for their thuggishness. Which, it seems to me, stems from an abundance of ethnocentric narcissism and neurosis.

Just as we should, of course, hold ourselves accountable for current manifestations of irrational anti semitism.

But, postponing moral action in the here and now, until we also hold ourselves accountable for 2000 years of ancestor stupidity, does not strike me as helpful.

Consider that the disinvestment is a form of atonement. I assume these were lucrative holdings.

Understand that I am not letting the Palestinians off the hook. They have their own version of pathetic to deal with.

But, someone needs to stand up for the simple people who just want to live in peace and prosperity.

No one should be encouraged to profit from, or revel in the suffering of others.

To the degree that we do, we should stop it.

2014-07-07 10:49

Yonah – “A just response would be that Hamas bow out, and let Israel and Fatah do the deal that they are quite able and willing to do. Both those parties want to negotiate a resolution. Both of their constituencies want it. It’s almost happened a couple times.”

Hamas is a convenient excuse. What do you suppose the real agenda is?

Which constituents are your referring to?

2014-07-07 11:11

Guest responding to Jim – “You should try reading the Bible sometime.   Israel is not going anywhere, ever.”

Yes, leave it to Abrahamic tradition to earnestly spin the wheel of Samsara.

But forever is a big word.

2014-07-07 15:03

Yonah – “Most Israelis and Jews generally were shocked when Gaza elected Hamas. Since then, they’ve not been able to arrive at your desired point of just accepting that they should self-destruct.

As to constituencies, constructive ones are the centrists ready, willing, and able to make a deal. All political groups have their Tea Parties to control. Extremists have every economic incentive to knock centrists off the peace process.

Now. As to you addressing a Jew with a direction that he out his people’s supposed hidden agenda at whatever neo-blood libel has highest current market value…well, you can just put that on the same plate with a double-bacon cheeseburger taken to the interfaith pot luck and eat it yourself.”

I liked the first two paragraphs. Last one illustrates a large component of the problem.

My hope is that I don’t have much of a tribe other than people who want to see clearly through the fog.

It’s hard to trust anyone who identifies strongly at the expense of another.

Understanding that we create and maintain our enemies until we don’t.

“Neo Libel”, “interfaith pot luck”? Oh, well.

2014-07-08 08:33

Yonah – “Yes. Jews have always been a ‘problem‘ in the West.”

West of what?

2014-07-08 09:18

Yonah responding to Joe Catron – “Now. I have to go to my grandaughter’s T-Ball game in Cardington, Ohio….although I know you wish we were in that village across the border.

So. When you ever leave Gaza…would you come to Ohio and maybe kill some Jewish kids in ‘response‘? What’s the big diff?”

If someone laid this kind of deflective nonsense on you, what conclusions would you draw about their grasp of truth and justice?

Oh, right; I must hate Jews for even asking.

2014-07-08 09:46

Yonah responding to Joe Catron – “..and then for you to throw you moral hands up in the air…wash your hands of the blood by fleeing to the imported karmic religions as an insulation from moral accountability FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL MORAL EFFECT ON GAZAN YOUTH…Really?”

Not sure if you are getting your own religion right, but I would say, that it is the highest “morality” to recognize wisdom, and choose to serve it.

An “Eye for an Eye” leaves the entire world blind.

A Buddhist understands this. The lesson has been learned.

I would like to think that at least some Rabbi’s get it as well. But, tradition and ethnocentric “self righteousness” has a very strong center of gravity. Who would listen to them?

2014-07-08 16:14

Well Yonah, I will not go down that blind alley with you. Wasting words back and forth. I have said what I have to say and said it with what skill I have.

If you find it useless tripe, just say that. Why let yourself go off the rails like this. Annotating a phantom conversation with a imagined adversary.

I have read your conversation with Joe Catron and don’t need to repeat it.

My points are still standing unaddressed. We can leave it that way and let others make of it what they will. As you suggest.

2014-07-09 10:22

It takes a lot of time to write less. Filling the page with words provides too much opportunity to be an asshole.

and…, gives certain readers more minutia to quibble about.

For lack of an adequate term I used “ethnocentric”. The meaning should still be apparent from the context.

Anyway, I’m talking about Israelis. Particularly the West Bank Settlement “nuts”. And hard line Zionists.

It’s not just soldiers who have “bled and died” for their “religious extremism”. We all have to put our hopes and dreams for a sane world on hold, while those folks and their shadow demons, feed the flames of holocaust.

I include the sociopathic elements of Islam in this as well. You seem to have “overlooked” that reference, along with everything else I’ve said. So please knock off the dishonesty.

Yonah – “Who in Gaza’s Palestinian community will say to Hamas leadership ‘We bled and died for your religious extremism?‘ 

Apparently, it won’t be anyone you support.”

I don’t need to write more to make myself understood. You seem so eager to illuminate the problem for me.

Here is the original comment for those who prefer not to plow back through the mountain of verbiage above.

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The Winding Path – 077

For the context of the following comments please click on the hyperlinks above them.

2014-07-02 11:32

brmckay – “If you wish to identify with the relative and perishable self, ignoring the eternal, it is ok. But not necessary. Much of our lives are lived on autopilot. But that doesn’t sum things up.”

Maine_Skeptic  – “You’re responding to something different than what I said. My point is that we should NOT let living our lives on autopilot sum things up. If someone is ‘steering the ship,’ there should be evidence of that. Instead, the evidence suggests collective sleepwalking, and we as individuals have to wake up from the illusion that making our societies work is “somebody else’s problem.”

Thanks, sorry. I always sound like I’m arguing.

I’m just emphasizing the potential of that awakening. Evolution makes no sense without the impulse to do so.

However, the nature of the awakened one, is not summed up by the relative powers of the individual.

I used the phrase; “That nature, non-different from absolute infinitude.”

This, instead of the word God. But that is just for your sake.

The collective is connected through the stillpoint of singularity.

What evidence is required?

If “moths and rust” have incapacitated “Christianity“, then by all means abandon it.

The Truth is Eternal. Our comings and goings, a dance upon it’s surface.

2014-07-02 14:39

 brmckay – “I always sound like I’m arguing.”

Maine_Skeptic – “Not arguing, exactly, though I’m not sure what it sounds like you ARE doing. A mix of prophesying and poetry, maybe? :^)

Given that communication doesn’t usually go well when people are speaking different languages, I’m curious about your approach. It almost seems like you’ve got a Hare Krishna sensibility, as if saying the words will have an impact on the listener, even though they don’t know what the words mean.”

You are right. The older I get the more faith, and therefor effort, I put into the art. It’s as much for me as for anybody else.

Talking to/from the Right Hemisphere. Usually after labyrinthine mazes on the Left are navigated first.

Perhaps I’ll call it prayer. At least in private.

Thanks for the Hare Krishna reference. Though my main influence is Patanjali, and they wouldn’t necessarily cut me any slack for that. Good food though.

2014-07-05 11:45

Mike Barnhart responding to allegro63 – “But progressives do throw out the parts they dislike, yes? Not an attacking or baiting question, but an honest one.”

allegro63 – “So do traditionalists. EVERYONE picks and chooses which parts of the Bible they are going to adhere to, which they feel apply to someone other than themselves, which no longer applies to anyone, and which part they are going to carefully ‘forget‘ to read. To deny that they do, means a bit of dishonesty is going on.”

Reading scripture with the intention of cultivating inspiration is an art.

Through inspiration we gain an increasingly accurate perception of the Divine Oneness that is God.

We pick and choose differently each time we sit down to contemplate. The art of it, is in our openness to being guided by innate Truth. The hidden hand of God.

Rule mongers like Mike Barnhart are speed bumps on the way to heaven. We will just have to sail over them on the wings of Grace.

Perhaps in our passing by, they may be dislodged, at least briefly, from their entrenchment
.
Possibly even getting over the foolish rule, that God cannot be known.

2014-07-05 12:01

(Pinging Mike Barnhart by responding to his reply to allego63)

Mike, I don’t know if you are still allowed to comment, but perhaps you will receive a notice of this reply.

I have annotated allegro63’s comment and have chosen to use your name to represent a class of religionist thinker that in my opinion, impedes the process of enlightenment. Both for the individual, and for community.

Just thought you should be aware of what was said.

2014-07-05 12:28

(Responding to John Shore’s article chastising Progressive Christian Pastors who don’t let their congregations know.)

People who aren’t deranged, but live in fear of those who are, cause untold suffering. Just look at the Islamic world for an example, of what not standing up leads to.

To all those who know better, but only teach the watered down version, shame on you. Time is short and the journey is long.

2014-07-05 13:12

Bones responding to Mike Barnhart – “I KNOW that Christians are more hung up on what a sin is than God is.”

Not really “what a sin is“, but what behavior is on THE LIST.

Some remedial education on what “sin” is, would be a good thing.

Starting with, what makes any attitude or action problematic?

As you infer; “problematic” is not God’s problem. But rather, what makes it difficult for Me, to understand, the one thing that needs understanding?

I and the Father are One.

This replaces THE LIST, with a simple formula. Carried in the HEART.

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