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The super-rational Absolute (renamed) - Part 2

by Lily Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 04:58:57 AM EST

"Now, if you are fine with reducing your deity of choice to a purely personal and subjective experience that does not necessarily have any more applicability to my life than my love has to your life, then I have no particular quarrel with your god. But if you make arguments that rely on your god as their premise, then I will feel free to point out that those arguments are inapplicable to anybody who happens to not agree with your personal, subjective faith." (JakeS in reply to Lynch)

So then.

Negative experiences with The Church have made of some, private believers in their personal God. But the question remains: Is God more than ones personal goblin? If yes, say something!

This is a fast-forward of my view of the God-reality.

To begin with, I don't argue about Creation versus Evolution. The debate is outright silly since `Creationists' cannot scientifically argue their point, and Big-Bang-Darwinists will never come up with an explanation for intelligence or love.  It is not possible to have a rational argument about fuzzy `facts'.

I have come to accept the limits to my rational understanding of the world. When we become aware of this limitation, everything becomes possible.

Where do we come from? Scientists begin explaining the world with prehistoric archaeology. There's no spiritual depth in their findings. I got to the Book of Enoch which is not included in our Bible, except for the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible that includes this book. It contains fantastic tales about heavenly beings getting married to humans, and the descriptions are not far off the Greek's old myths.

There's a free online version available here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/boe004.htm

The introduction begins like this, "The Book of Enoch, written during the second century B.C.E., is one of the most important non-canonical apocryphal works, and probably had huge influence on early Christian, particularly Gnostic, beliefs. Filled with hallucinatory visions of heaven and hell, angels and devils, Enoch introduced concepts such as fallen angels, the appearance of a Messiah, Resurrection, a Final Judgement, and a Heavenly Kingdom on Earth. Interspersed with this material are quasi-scientific digressions on calendrical systems, geography, cosmology, astronomy, and meteorology."

So, there's a text that speaks of weirder things than alchemy. It gave me a sense that, maybe, the world hasn't always been the way we know it now. Maybe it was different before the deluge whenever that was and however it happened. Amazing that this old book already introduces the concept of a Messiah, a Heavenly Kingdom while also `explaining' evil!

Then comes the Bible itself, Creation, Paradise and Paradise lost. Paradise lost means that we're no longer together with God. It means pain, suffering and death. And people don't manage to be nice with one another. It brings the great deluge but not the end... God has a special connection with his Chosen People and they're given the Ten Commandments. With Jesus Christ, everyone's chosen but since we've left Paradise, Jews and Gentiles are free to choose. Will they walk on their own or seek God? The Bible describes a `fallen' people in dire need of God. It describes the relationship between man and God, both ways. And since Jesus Christ, we're all given clear hands-on as to how to find our way back into oneness with God.

This is the era we're living in now. Churches are but crutches to help our faith. Communion with other believers is all that `church' needs. I have experienced a great variety of Christian churches which has sharpened my sense of what is essential and what is not. But I don't feel bothered by what I don't consider to be essential but what is mostly essential to people's culture and tradition.

Now, there are others who also claim that they have found the Truth, and the Hindu or the Buddhist or the Muslim will also experience God and spiritual reality. Their experiences are real, though we can also spiritually experience what is not from God. Jesus saying, "I am the way", means that, well, HE IS the way. It does not say that following him would be the only way to have a transcendental experience and it doesn't put me in a position that allows me to judge the faith of others. "I am the way", means that He contains All Truth. He's the ultimate reality that explains the world. I know that I don't have to force-feed truth to anybody because it simply is. I feel no inclination to judge someone who will say that the mere idea of a spiritual reality of any value would be hogwash or that we're living in an emerging world. I believe that these views are a (fatal) illusion, not reality. The reality that I'm speaking of is not of my making and not just my own imagined ideal world.

I believe that we're called to seek the Truth = God. Truth reveals itself to the believer now and it will be revealed to everyone at the end of times, as promised.


What have others found to be 'true'?

My view of 'Truth' speaks of something absolute but it's personal and subjective...

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 06:07:26 AM EST
i think it's we who are god's 'personal goblins', (great word!).

an emergent evolutionary force, that pushes and pulls us to go forward in the directions we deem wise. we have some control, if we desire to use it, and we have responsibility, if we can rise to it.

we have joy when we see our judgments favoured by chance, we have sorrow when we don't, and are forced to wake up the inner pilot to chart a new course.

we have some choice as to how freely we think, and can develop the skill, if we are careful not to tumble into the many traps (of dualistic false thinking) surrounding us, indeed fed to us along with our mother's milk, in many or most cases...

spirituality is as glandular as reproduction or migration, we respond to ancient urges that outrule and outweigh reason/rationality, then rationalise to try and justify our choices and actions in hindsight, often with heavy coats of denial, because we find some parts of our beings do not jive with the preferred image we hold and aspire to, and we cannot explain the violence of our passions, once they have typhooned across our inner landscape.

raised by authoritarian, psychologically inastute forces, whether through family, schools, the military, churches, all persuading us that to allow ourselves the freedom to question anything supposedly set in stone is arrogant, that we need to bow our heads to others before daring to voice our own opinions.

god is surely that freedom to think and feel as we're designed to be, ourselves, unique yet universal.

our job as humans seems to be a student of life, aligning our own micro sense of what's right with our own world and person with the communities around us, especially those who think outside the boxes, and encourage each other to dive deeper into the wonder of exchange, how a conversation is always more than the sum of its parts, and by offering our perceptions to the pie, we can make it more interesting for others to enjoy.

whether someone prays to ziggy marly posters or hindu shrines, chicken feathers or buttered lingams is their private affair, like their taste in literature or home furnishings.

we all dialogue with deep parts of ourselves on sleepless nights, no one is immune, rich or poor, young or old.

some find mystery enough gazing at the stars, and wondering how we got here, and why, others feel a love permeating the universe that equally mysteriously is able to enter the deepest folds of our inner sanctum, and make love for/from creation something extraordinarily, all-logic-defyingly personal.

some do, some don't, easy as that.

some sleep easy as babes, some toss and turn. some feel happier in their certainties that a god as portrayed by others must be a myth, a hodgepodge of derelict baloney, weak crutches for foolish, disordered minds, unable to face reality without an imaginary friend, (one whose oft-presumed omnipotence permits the most bloodcurdlingly appalling events to occur daily, incidentally).

no proof or need for magic sky bunnies! we have what we need in a material, rational sense to conquer our challenges without wasting time praying for things to change or occur, we can plan them and execute our plans, see? no voodoo there!

maybe god was a hologram of our collective conscience, passed down along with cosmologies, genealogies, and maps to the dreamtime, and now since we are risking the moral highwire of life without the balancing pole of traditional religions, do we really need any othere divisive superstitions to take their place? sure there's still a phantom limb pain or two, and a bloodsoaked black hole in our guts where we had them pulled out, but we are still human, aren't we? we still function, live, love, work, play, go to movies and wish we weren't so lonely sometimes and someone strong and kind would pick us up and hold us, like when we were babies, and trusted the world to be soft and pleasurable, warm and joyful.

going forward? how? communist-INO consumerism? low footprint producerist communal mini-centres, all noded?

without a healthy planet, we will not have the luxury to debate these salons about existentiality, metaphysics, teleology and such, fun though they can be. i'd love to see a future where these divisions in how we perceive and practice our divinity are understood as primitive fumblings in the cavern of our curiosity, and now we have a planetary imperative that is frankly orders of magnitude more vital and awe-inspiring than all the religions' messages, (90% proprietary DRM on an originally simple, homespun, a child-can-figure-it-out simplicity).

science, an incredible set of analytical and consensus building tools, is clear that we are on an unsustainable path as the world-affecting species, and suggests other alternatives than prayer to try and solve the problems facing us, and how to deal with the fabric of life as we have numbly known it being ripped by events far beyond our control. if prayer is the best we can do, then fine! let us pray for the wisdom to get out of this mess, and do honour to That which created this awful, yet redeemable situation knowing we can make a happy ending to this chapter of life's tale, if (once) we collectively bend enough our our collective minds to it.

whether your co-pilot has a name and a face, or whether you fly with only humans for companionship, we are all on this flight together, and the reserves are dwindling while we argue about the silliest of things, and often miss the ones right in front of our noses that we could be doing to bring a peaceful world for our descendants.

mormons have funny underpants, ooo. hindus walk on coals, oo.

so freakin what? is it that which will guide us to where we want to go?

thanks for letting me rant on your diary, lily.

this chosen ones business is what sows the cain abel rivalry, imo. every decent parent knows better than to set siblings off with favouritism, god is not an idiot.

this chosen thingy is pure human deviltry.

lily, you are smart and educated. do you really think if jesus came here to show us better way as he did, that he would want others who had found the kingdom of heaven within themselves to feel perhaps that their choice of ways was being devalued by claims that his way was the best, like some brand promotion for soap powder? if it is the best for you,  why not share that with others as your testimonial?

to my mind this apple of discord (specialness) is being transplanted from the area of race (jews are somehow more interesting to god), or geography, (our temple is under your temple, therefore is the true one), and now it's your Portal choice that has to be THE one, and the BEST and how would/do you feel when someone comes and bores away at your beliefs with their conviction that saturday is really the day of reat, and only 144000 are going to survive the apocalypse?

i sympathise with atheists, it's a no-brainer to reject a priori any kind of response to the affliction of separation that involves acts of cruelty, (religions go for this stuff bigtime, ever notice?), great stores of riches and fine apparel, so jesus-like, lol).

it's a hard roe to hoe, defending religion these days.

but not spirituality, however you may wish to define it. whatever floats your boat as long as it's not crashing into the others and trying to sink them.

the fear that comes through when christians/catholics talk about provinces of the subconscious we are counselled to avoid, or leave to experts trained in the necessary discernment, is quite tangible. so what if some are throwing cards or gazing into crystal, whatever, if they care about their fellow man, why not leave them get on with it?

the way, the one and only way, yada yada, why can't you admit the world can figure things out for themselves without Your Special Brand Being the Only way forward for everyone? it's irritating, comes off sanctimonious and snobby, excluding and judgmental rather than judicious. no religion is so pure it can claim patent on truths that have been around a lot longer than mankind and will outlive us... least of all a church with such a bloodstained history of turning free thinking souls into martyrs.

peace to all the loving catholics i have met, who have transcended their addiction to superiority-waving. and to all other sentient beings!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 07:37:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Oct 31st, 2010 at 07:54:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Big-Bang-Darwinists will never come up with an explanation for intelligence or love

Bzzzzzzt. Fail.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 02:56:38 AM EST
Against my better judgement, a serious point.

Your religion appears to amount to "We don't understand some stuff, so we made some stuff up." Fables for those too arrogant and too insecure to say "We don't know some stuff. We may not be able to know some stuff."

Seriously, "science can't come up with an explanation for intelligence or love"? Science can come up with a lot of explanations, the problem is winnowing them - it's pretty hard to do without knowing the precise historical circumstances in which either intelligence or love evolved. Note also that science is required to provide a full explanation whereas religion can just waves its hands and mumble mystical, allegorical noises

But even if we couldn't explain it, that doesn't justify the leap to imaginary sky people or etheral bodies or chakras. It would just mean out explicative powers were limited, which is hardly surprising.

Yet (weak) atheists are the arrogant ones?

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 05:23:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your religion appears to amount to "We don't understand some stuff, so we made some stuff up."

Hmm. Why would things that you cannot wrap your mind around be "made up" for that reason?

Yet (weak) atheists are the arrogant ones?

"Arrogant"? I don't know. If there's "arrogance", it comes from ignorance.

You can say, that it's man's purpose to walk on the ground or learn to ride a bike but water isn't our element. So why get into it and learn to swim? You have no idea unless you try it out yourself. Not everybody becomes a deep sea diver but learning to swim could keep you from drowning.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 06:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So why get into it and learn to swim? You have no idea unless you try it out yourself. Not everybody becomes a deep sea diver but learning to swim could keep you from drowning.

excellent analogy!

sometimes meditation is like sub-aqua exploration, enabling us to go to study deeper, more obscure subconscious flora and fauna than is commonly perceived.

here beyond white whales and kraaken... the deeper, the stranger.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 06:45:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"I had a weird experience, therefore God" is the epitome of arrogance: your personal experience defines the universe.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 07:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no, your personal experience informs, guides, balances and energises your universe. it's not arrogant to affirm that.

what starts off weird becomes a delight.

at first it can be extremely shocking, and self-preservation can block one from the relaxation necessary to fully grok what's happening.

...because we've been raised to be afraid of what's beyond our immediate ken.

if we take it gently, we can learn to go further from shore. what is most helpful is to refer to others who have learned to do so, as the line between mysticism and psychosis is a fine one, just as the difference between a jolly jaunt and something scarier can be small.

fortunately we have records of those who have navigated these psychic shoals, and their words and souvenirs can encourage us when life becomes too dispiriting.

bless every one of 'em!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:27:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you.

The analogy is incomplete, though.

It is crucial to check out the waters first with the means at your disposal (other people, newspaper articles, coast guard).
Is the water poisoned, are there sharks in it or are there dangerous vortexes?
And if you've never swum at all, you're well advised to take some lessons first and stay near the coastline.

To take this back to the reality we're discussing, it means to me that I rely on certain Scripture/dogmatic parameters. If I'm offered a loving and miracle-doing guru-incarnation of God, I won't go there, no matter how real the miracles and his love are. I will classify him under 'false prophet' period.

The assessment of what criteria someone wishes to rely on is mostly rational. Which is the narrative that makes sense to you, even if questions remain at the end of the day? If you find something that makes sense, it's that you consider the water trustworthy...

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 07:28:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, I should learn to meditate or something.

Wait, I see a problem here.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 07:21:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
children meditate naturally. adults have to forget how not to.

and the whole point to meditation is to see beyond the problem, whatever it be.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact, "Big-Bang-Darwinists" is fail all on its own in several ways.

First, there are no "Darwinists" left anymore. There really hasn't been since the modern synthesis in the mid-20th century.

Second, the Big Bang has nothing to do with evolution, Darwinian or otherwise. Were steady-state cosmology, or even geocentrism, to pull some startling new discovery out of a hat that overturned big bang cosmology, it would do precisely nothing to change evolutionary biology. Cosmology stopped being biologically interesting a few hundred million years before the last universal common ancestor(s).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 07:07:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Big-Bang-Darwinists" - was just a joke referring to those to whom these are all just technical, cold events in our long scientific history.

But thanks for your explanations anyway.

by Lily (put - lilyalmond - here <a> yahaah.france) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 07:12:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The insinuation that "cold" and "technical" are somehow related is another pet peeve of mine. But I think I've elaborated on that in sufficient detail upthread.

You really are in a mood for hitting all my sore spots today ;-P

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 08:29:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scientists begin explaining the world with prehistoric archaeology.

Bzzzzt. More fail.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 1st, 2010 at 02:57:22 AM EST

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