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Daniel Wilcox responding to 54350437543705437 – “Ditto for inequality. There is no equality among the cats in our neighborhood, None. One seldom finds honesty or equality in nature.
But I am committed to the truth of honesty as much as equality.”
Equality from the relative viewpoint doesn’t work, but factoring the absolute into your scenario brings it into focus.
The missing part is the infinitude that underlies creation.
This is also what is missing from most of the “god” concepts, theist and atheist, that we run into on the web.
Why is that?
Daniel Wilcox – “Sorry, I don’t follow your point or your question.
I’m dealing with various health issues including really bad insomnia, so please help me out here with more explanation or an example.“
[quoting Daniel Wilcox from previous comment] – “Ditto for inequality. There is no equality among the cats in our neighborhood, None. One seldom finds honesty or equality in nature.“
This is the “relative” side of nature. The kinetic, ever changing dance of complementary opposites. Cause and effect. This and that.
Every phenomena is a composite of it’s attributes. The cat’s hierarchy is an expression of that.
The “absolute” is nature taken as a whole. The entirety. This is the infinitude of singularity. There is no This and That. No otherness.
Nature is not completely comprehended without allowing for this.
So, equality is a fundamental principal and therefore the practice towards it is desirable.
The Zen practice of “holding no opinion for or against” or Jesus advising us “not to judge the mote in the other’s eye before removing the log from out own”, point to this.
Frankly even “I and the Father are one.” But who is ready to get on board with that? Since it means you too.
Curtis Martin – “And if it turns out that we care for people and the rest of creation and their is not God, well. No big deal.”
You didn’t have to concede this. God being a-priori, the only thing that changes is our understanding of THAT.
As a not particularly Christian person, I have been following this and some of the other conversations you were involved in. I want to say that you have exhibited a fine and honest spirit.
The choice not to acknowledge is theirs and it is a personality thing. The cherry picking on that end, as seen in litanies of failed, bent and distorted beliefs has reached the terminal stage. It’s scope is irrational whereas your process is evidence of evolving wisdom.
Michau responding to Curtis Martin – “So it looks like your ‘Christianity’ = humanism + ‘God exists’ + ‘in the end this God will make all things right somehow’. It’s obviously better than evangelical Christianity, but still I don’t see any reasons for the two last elements, and you don’t provide any compelling arguments why humanism must be supplemented by them.“
He has an interest in cultivating the relationship with God whereas you do not. Therefore, your lack of interest in the last two elements.
This is not a compelling argument why his humanism should not be supplemented by his religion.
[responding to Michau]
Thank you for a substantive response.
Remember we are basically building off of your response to Curtis Martins comments.
“So, whenever Christians say that they have ‘relationship with God’, it is only because they have no idea what a true relationship is.“
“But a relationship with God – no. Because a key to true relationship is meaningful and reliable communication. Without meaningful and reliable communication there is no relationship possible. There can be love and lots of other things, but no relationship.”
Curtis Martin seems to be treading the path beyond the point where you fell off.
He probably is still under the influence of Christianity’s inherent “dualism” (i.e. God outside of Creation), but the choices and observations that he describes indicate an active and earnest enquiry is in progress.
That enquiry, given free and honest reign, will lead to the realization that “relationship” is actually a misnomer.
The “relationship to” God is ultimately in Truth, “identity with” God. Interpreting the feed back from THAT is going to be different than the expectations that you describe would allow for.
From my experience which is less directly Christian, I can understand the “atheist” view, but only when it is the result of the above mentioned Self Realization (i.e. I and the Father are One).
Until then, as long as there is any sense of Otherness, God exists. This miracle of existence demands a term worthy of it.
The hubris of man’s increasing infatuation with himself does not satisfy.
Michau responding to Curtis Martin – “What kind of truth is that? ‘Don’t underestimate your opponent.’ – it’s not truth, it’s advice. ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’ – it’s not truth, it’s wishful thinking. I don’t think it’s a language barrier, I think it’s you trying to redefine ‘truth’ to mean much more than it normally means, so that you can still maintain that the Bible is ‘true’. With such a broad definition surely it is, but so is the latest Bond movie.“
Now I see why religion is lost on you.
You would also probably not understand the experience of an artist a work as a relationship with truth.
Michau – “If you defined ‘truth’ in the same way as Curtis Martin, then of course I would understand the experience of an artist at work as a relationship with such ‘truth’. Even more, I had such experiences myself.
It’s just I do not accept his definition of ‘truth’, therefore I do not classify such experiences as having anything to do with truth. They are surely related to many other things (feelings predominantly), but truth is not one of them.“
This is a very interesting distinction.
For me, the whole religious/philosophical/existential impulse is synonymous with whatever this is that we are talking about.
Self Realization, Authenticity, Non-abstracted experience….etc.
But the indicator of success, is the proximity of the True, no way around it, at least for me.
Michau – “//But the indicator of success, is the proximity of the True, no way around it, at least for me.//
Well, it looks like it is the same for me – the indicator of success is the proximity of the True. It’s just what is “True” is different for us. For me True = no God.“
If you substitute “Reality” for the word “God” you’ll be closer to my meaning of the word.
The “No God” thing, like it’s complement “God”, is at the level of the personality.
Reality stands untouched by our facades.
Each attitude comes with it’s own potential and limitation.
All under the umbrella of Reality.
My understanding is that we have the capacity to stand directly before the Real and know it as ourself.
At which point God/No God is irrelevant.
Michau – “It looks to me that we have different definition of ‘reality’ as well.
What you describe looks like some kind of fideism to me, a position with which I would strongly disagree.“
Don’t worry, it’s not.
I would be curious to see you present a definition of reality though.
Michau – “Sure. Reality is the sum of things that are real. Something is real if it can be reliably demonstrated to exist or happen.
So, for example, abstract concepts (like ‘love’) are not real, whereas concrete realizations of these concepts (like ‘Alice loves Bob’) are real.
‘To be real’ is therefore a stronger qualifier than ‘to exist’. Something can theoretically exist, but not be a part of the reality. A good example is deism, which is basically the belief that God exists but is not real.“
That is quite interesting. It might explain a lot of long circuitous, and ultimately fruitless conversations I’ve had lately.
From this I am led to understand that the potential of Love to manifest is not real but does exist?
I guess I’ll have to ask about the justification for this distinction?
There are other ramifications that will affect my way of talking about God. For instance, things that are “real” have a starting point and presumably and ending point.
The above scenario leaves reality free floating upon what?
[responding to Michau]
I have no idea what “New Age” is suppose to mean. The things that I have been saying are rooted in the entire experience of Human Beings. I say this just to put in perspective that which you want to dismiss.
“They do not indicate that such oneness actually exists.“
Please revisit this statement. Of course “oneness” exists. It is the function of our brains via imagination that parses it all out into useful interrelated subdivisions.
These worlds we create are not separate from the whole but only seem so.
God is not just creation but the entire process of potential and actual. This is the parent of all infinities. Infinitude itself. Not gone after the Big Bang but still fully here.
The present moment.
If your use of the term “universe” equates to that, then the word universe is redundant. Otherwise it is one abstraction among many and therefor not God.
Michau – “Why should I revisit this statement? My statement says ‘feeling X does not make X true’. In other words, feelings are not a source of knowledge.
What you are saying is in no way rooted in experience of human beings. I am a human being and i experience nothing of the sort, so you cannot claim that human beings in general experience these things when it can be demonstrated that they don’t. They are more likely to be rooted in your experiences, which you try to project back on other humans.
If we start to base our claims on what we ‘experience’ (again, I maintain the point that the correct word here is ‘feel’), then I can dismiss your claims in no time – I experience something different, therefore I do not agree. This illustrates how ‘experiences’ are not a way to make claims about anything.“
Michau from previous comment – “Things which New Agers like to describe like ‘feeling oneness with the universe’ and so on, are nothing more than just that: feelings. They do not indicate that such oneness actually exists.“
I asked you to revisit.
“They do not indicate that such oneness actually exists.“
It should be obvious that I was not talking about a “feeling of oneness”.
So I will try again.
Are you saying that there is no aggregate, no sum total, of all that is?
And related to that. That there is no root cause of existence?
The discussion about our subjective relationship will have to wait until we understand what we each think we are related to.
Michau – “Of course, this ‘collection of all that is’ is simply a thought construct –“
I would have to say that there is the thought construct, and there is the reality.
(I would also point out, that this is what I have been saying all along about God via the fingers and the moon analogy.)
Can I suggest that the “thought construct” should be classified as real. It is a phenomena. A specific thought not the potential of a thought. (this should agree with your definition above)
As something real, the thought is included in the aggregate of all that is real.
“Yes, there is no discernible root cause of existence, or even if there is such cause, then again it exists but is not real, therefore it is of no interest to me.“
Things are becoming much clearer now. But, I wouldn’t mind hearing the justification for the distinction.
Your lack of interest contrasts considerably with my avid interest. So we should probably drop it soon. Before things go south.
Michau -“//Can I suggest that the “thought construct” should be classified as real.//
No. You are mistaken because you make a category error.
The thought, which is ‘the process of you thinking about something’ is a real phenomena composed of the activity of neurons in your brain.
The thought construct, which is ‘the abstract idea you are thinking about’, is not and can not be real.
These two are totally different things, similarly to how a picture of my wife is not the same as my wife herself.
//I wouldn’t mind hearing the justification for the distinction.//
You lost me again here. Which distinction?
//Your lack of interest contrasts considerably with my avid interest.//
Yes, you are correct. As a practical person who has only limited time to live, I am not interested in things which are not real and are not manifesting themselves in reality, because my main focus in on living, not on thinking for thinking’s own sake. Purely abstract ideas such as ‘everyone who is left-handed and red-haired’ do not occupy my mind, because they have no useful properties in reality. Your construct of ‘the sum total of everything that is’ falls into the same category, unless you are able to demonstrate that it has some unique properties which are not already found in its parts. So far you have failed to do so.“
Since we have not found a sufficient commonality in our approaches, there isn’t enough to work with. And so, there will not likely to be much of a coherent nature to be found beating these particular bushes.
Thank you for your time and the clear presentation of your world view. It has been quite helpful.