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THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL THREAD. LET US SEE HOW IT GOES AND WHERE IT LEADS. IF IT DIES FROM LACK OF RESPONSE, SO BE IT!
=========================================================
Let Us Assume that all who read this post belong to a group of un-born foetuses--children within an hour, or so, of being born.

An angel--bringing us to a momentary consciousness--tells us: "You Are Given A Choice. You Can Choose be Born Into Life With all The Kinds Of Dangers and/or Opportunities Life Can Have In Store, Or You Can Choose Not To Be Born at all. What Do You Choose? Life? Or The Kind of Oblivion from Which You Now Came?

"At Birth you will have no memory that there was ever such a thing as life before, or evidence of life beyond birth. You willd just have to believe in one, or the other, and then make your choice.

"You will get no information about the kind of parents you will have, or about the kind of life there will be in store for you. You will just have to take your chances.

"Given the above, what will you choose? Conscious life. Or life in an unconscious oblivion?"
=========================================================
If you choose to respond, give your choice and then tell us why you make it. To keep new readers in the loop, you will need to refer then to this first post.

I will begin by saying: I choose life. Later I will give you the reasons for my choice.

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/10/08 02:55 AM.

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The foetuses (foeti?!?!) wouldn't have any information on which to make a decision, and couldn't make a real choice. If they had experience and personality and rationality to make a choice, they wouldn't be true foetuses.

A different way to pose the question would be to make the hypothetical entity the essence (soul, consciousness, spirit, etc., if you are more comfortable with one of those words) of a dying person and give them the choice of being reincarnated into an unknown person and circumstance, or going into limbo. Of course, that isn't truly exactly the same question now that I think of it, because that person would have already done it once, so it wouldn't be such a unique and momentuous choice.


Mike B in OKlahoma

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I agree with Mike's statement re the foetus- plus the fact that a foetus is not yet an independent entity and thus cannot make choices without including other individuals.
So the choice would be without validity because it is not made by a sentient individual, (which is sort of Mike's point again).

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On the face of it, the question requires us to make arbitrary assumptions about the consciousness and knowledge bestowed on the foetus; but there's more to it than consciousness and knowledge - there's the pre-programming of the human organism to take into account. It would be no use asking a robot a similar question unless it had been programmed to respond one way or the other; likewise with humans. Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status.


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When you say foetus I think of the allegory of the cave by Plato and with Mike's option I see someone more able possibly able to make a choice, but then again someone who may have been corrupted by the weight of a long and difficult life. When I was in my 20s and in Community College preparing for a better school, I took a class on Psychology and for a paper I chose to write on the psychic phenomenon. For my paper I went to Swanton Vermont and interviewed an elderly woman who was the medicine woman for the local tribe of Native Americans whom I learned was so good that the Vermont State Police would sometimes visit her when they came to a dead end with their police work. In our interview together the lady told me that her understanding of life and death was that each soul was slated to visit Earth several times in life and in each time the soul would have to perform a mission and if it failed in that mission it had to come back under that constellation sign again until it did complete the mission where it would then come back with a progressed constellation sign and a new mission to complete. It has been several years since the interview so I cannot remember the name of the old lady I interviewed, but I do remember what she told me very clearly and she said that after everyone had run their course of missions in life they then would have the choice of staying in Heaven with God or coming back down to Earth to live again, and in that life time the soul would be destined for Greatness like that of Mahatma Gandhi. The old lady told me that my soul was old and if I complete my mission in this life time I would then have such a choice to make. I instantly told her I would choose Heaven because I felt spiritually tired and could not imagine having to come back. How would you choose if this decision needed to be made by you?

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RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god. BTW, I see the value of evolution. However, at this point, without being doctrinaire, I think of myself as an emanationist--it helps me balance the ideas of creation and evolution.
======================
Rallem asks--I presume your question is to all readers: How would you choose if this decision needed to be made by you?

Keep in mind, my story is concocted; it is a made-up one. I welcome any suggestions to improve it. I could copy it and then repost it with the improvements.

PROGRESSIVE INCARNATION
My answer: If I were assured that life on earth, or any other planet fit for life, is the opportunity to make physical, mental and spiritual progress, I would chose life.

If I were given the opportunity to argue my case, I would bargain to have some kind of control over the kind of life before me--the circumstances, the where and to whom I would be born. I would also want to hear that life can ultimately be joyful and meaningful. I find the idea of having more than one opportunity (reincarnation, or even the idea of purgatory) to get it right, appealing. Maybe earth is a kind of purgatory.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

However, if I given a nihilistic view of life; that it is ultimately meaningless, strictly a matter of accident who gets the best life has to offer, and that the brutish and immoral people will keep on making slaves of the weak, fighting and killing each other, on and on, I would probably chose oblivion.

[BTW, Rallem, I hope I don't hurt your feelings if I suggest: Use shorter paragraphs. It makes it easier to read.

Also, I have a daughter, 52, who has a psychic gift similar to the one described by you. Her gift led her to move from Toronto to where she is now living. At university she studied ballet and music. After a failed marriage, she became licensed as a drugless therapist. She uses her psychic power with her patients to read peoples character and help them overcome what I call pneumasomatic diseases--diseases caused by sick souls/spirits: the root cause of psychosomatic and somatic conditions. I believe we are a holistic complex of body (soma), mind (psyche) and spirit (pneuma).

She lives with her artist husband--both are gifted artists (carvers and painters)--in a large floating house--including floating gardens, a dance stage, and other buildings, covering nearly an acre of water. It has been featured on several TV programs. The home of Catherine King and Wayne Adams is about 10 minuets from this floating hotel http://www.wildretreat.com/Quait_Bay_Floating_Resort/ and actually covers a larger area.]

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/10/08 03:19 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god.

Then apologies for inadvertantly misrepresenting the facts. I'll rephrase it:

The natural process called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival

- which means precisely the same to me, but obviously not to everyone.


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"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile


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Rede- Could it be that even a slime mould has a physiological programme for survival-- as evidenced by the fact it has survived? And the process (of evolution) is the determinator of the biological programme to enable survival to happen?

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile

I don't think it's a trick question, Rev. It's a perfectly scientific one, to which a scientist would respond:

"Physics started the process when our universe came into existence".

I anticipate that your next question might be:

"And where did the laws of physics come from?"

To which I reply:

"Sorry, Rev, I don't know!"

If you'll bear with my presumption, I anticipate your reply:

"Do you see what I'm driving at?" grin

Yes, Rev, I understand - - or more exactly, to my understanding, the phenomena of the natural world can be explained by the laws of physics, without reference to the supernatural. Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess.


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Originally Posted By: Revl.
Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE comments"...Evolution has installed in us a program for survival. So, perhaps the response of the foetus will always be 'conscious life' rather than 'oblivion' simply because of its inherited system status."
Good point, RedE. You make it appear that "evolution" is a kind of god.


Originally Posted By: Revlgking
"The natural process, called evolution has resulted in our physiological acquisition of a biological program for survival..."
RedE says.
Question: Who, or what, started the process?
I admit, it is a trick question. smile


Revl.,
Aren't you missing a great opportunity here to focus on the "creativity process" (ala Stuart Kauffman), instead of the more tricky aspects.
smile


Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.
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Originally Posted By: Ellis
Rede- Could it be that even a slime mould has a physiological programme for survival-- as evidenced by the fact it has survived? And the process (of evolution) is the determinator of the biological programme to enable survival to happen?

Exactly as you say - even slime mould...as evidenced by the fact that it has survived. The natural process is incredibly simple, i.e., if a system (individual organism) can survive in it's environment, it will. If it can't, it won't. Those traits which most favour survival are, therefore, most likely to be passed on to the next generation. The survival information, existing in the DNA, is passed on. The information determines the characteristics of the organism, and can therefore be regarded as a program. Specifically, a program for survival.

Here's an exceptional example in which the DNA 'program' of a strain of E. coli bacterium has undergone modifications - i.e., it has evolved to utilise citrate as a nutrient, therefore enhancing its survival potential.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary


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Sam asks me:
Originally Posted By: samwik
Aren't you missing a great opportunity here to focus on the "creativity process" (ala Stuart Kauffman).
OK, I will focus on what Kauffman says in Reinventing The Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion.
Quote:
According to Kauffman, who is also a theoretical biologist, the universe is so beautifully complex, incredible, and full of wonder, that we might consider thinking of it as "God." He summarizes his argument in the current New Scientist. From Kauffman's essay:

...The unfolding of the universe - biotic, and perhaps abiotic too - appears to be partially beyond natural law. In its place is a ceaseless creativity, with no supernatural creator. If, as a result of this creativity, we cannot know what will happen, then reason, the Enlightenment's highest human virtue, is an insufficient guide to living our lives. We must use reason, emotion, intuition, all that our evolution has brought us. But that means understanding our full humanity: we need Einstein and Shakespeare in the same room.

Shall we use the "God" word? We do not have to, yet it is still our most powerful invented symbol. Our sense of God has evolved from Yahweh in the desert some 4500 years ago, a jealous, law-giving warrior God, to the God of love that Jesus taught. How many versions have people worshipped in the past 100,000 years?

Yet what is more awesome: to believe that God created everything in six days, or to believe that the biosphere came into being on its own, with no creator, and partially lawlessly? I find the latter proposition so stunning, so worthy of awe and respect, that I am happy to accept this natural creativity in the universe as a reinvention of "God".

http://www.boingboing.net/2008/05/12/stuart-kauffman-call.html

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/11/08 04:11 PM.

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RedE Asks: Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess. RedE, in addition to physics, we could ask the same question about all the sciences, the philosophies and the arts.

Note what Kauffman says: "The unfolding of the universe - biotic, and perhaps abiotic too - appears to be partially beyond natural law." Beyond natural law. Hmmmmm! Is this the same as saying "supernatural"? Almost.

My guess, and my opinion, is: What we call the "supernatural" is not something which exists separate and apart from us. It is just beyond us, for now. The time will come when we will accept it as part of the natural. What Kauffman thinks of as "God", I think of as GØD. I do this to get beyond the limitations of theism and a personal god up, or out, there.

I feel that all humane and creative human beings are one with the GØD process.

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/11/08 04:32 PM.

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"Is this the same as saying "supernatural"? Almost."
Nope. But I had the advantage of him hearing him speak and describe what he means in some detail. What he means is that the laws are so complicated that they may be beyond description.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE Asks: Why do those laws of physics exist? Your guess is no doubt as good as mine. But a guess, is a guess. RedE, in addition to physics, we could ask the same question about all the sciences, the philosophies and the arts.

Rev, it would be meaningless to ask that question about sciences: all science rests upon the laws of physics, as it is they that determine the kind of universe this is - what phenomema can and cannot occur and, therefore, what can and cannot exist. All that exists in the universe, therefore, evolved and emerged as a result of those laws of physics. They, and they alone, were sufficient to transform the energy of the Big Bang into the place we now call the universe, with its consciousness and intelligence and the resulting philosophies and arts.


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Originally Posted By: TheFallibleFiend
... What he means is that the laws are so complicated that they may be beyond description.
The old "semantics" problem. I think of the supernatural as being beyond description.
IMO, as long as we agree to be humane and act according to the Golden Rule, the fine points of beliefs do not matter.
======================================================
BTW, for me, choice and belief go together. I usually choose to act on what I believe in, have some control over, and have hope will happen.

Read my first post. Keep in mind: I was born into a family of the working poor living under third-world conditions. As I matured, I found myself in a time and place filled with dangerous and tough circumstances, including war.

Looking back, I assume I chose to be born, not because a God determined what would happen, but because I was assured by a spiritual guide--one who made the journey before me:

"There is always hope for the future. And at all times, you will be in control of making your future. If you make loving, moral and ethical choices, you will make for a better future."
For me, this is how it has turned out. Looking forward to the new birth we call death, again I will choose life.

Atheists, think of your own future: You are now in the womb of life waiting to be, or not to be, born into the next.

IMO, no God will determine things for you, you will get what you choose. If you believe that there is no such a thing as a new chance at life, are you not choosing oblivion?

This means you are saying: "For me the future is without hope and control, on my part. Therefore, I choose not to act on the idea that there could be more life, and life for the better."

IMO, one does not have to believe in gods, or a God, in order to choose and believe in life.


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RedE, is physics the god of the sciences? smile

BTW, I put the null, Ø, in GØD. I put it there to represent all the math involved in physics.


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" If you believe that there is no such a thing as a new chance at life, are you not choosing oblivion? "

There is no logical reason to expect this. It could just as well be that one gets exactly the opposite of what one believes. Anything is possible when logic and evidence are irrelevant.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
RedE, is physics the god of the sciences? smile

Dear me, Rev, you do have an apt sense of humour grin

Physics doesn't have to be endowed with divinity in order to be universally (!) useful.

All the incredible complexities that scientists study, though they be most often gross phenomena not studied by physicists, are nonetheless various manifestations of energy (and mass, which Einstein showed to be the same thing) - and physics is the direct study of energy. Such has been the pace of scientific advancement that scientists of various disciplines are now finding it necessary to acquire a deeper knowledge of physics in order to understand the processes which they study. All things are governed by the laws of physics, and cannot be completely understood without knowledge of those laws.


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Quote:
"...and physics is the direct study of energy."

Interesting, RedE. No wonder that the root word for GOD, in Hebrew is El. In Arabic is Al. Both words mean: "the source of all power, or energy". Theos, the Greek translation, means: "the source of all knowledge/ideas/wisdom. Our English term, God, means: "the source of all good. For me GOD is the one, powerful and good idea.

BTW, The national Israeli Airline is called EL AL--to the highest heights.

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/12/08 04:46 AM.

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Yes, it's certainly interesting, Rev. Hand-in-hand with those laws of physics are the mathematical constants. One thing that always fascinated me as a kid, and still does now, is Pi. I was awe-stricken when I was taught that Pi = 4/1 - 4/3 + 4/5 - 4/7 + 4/9 - 4/11...and so on with an infinity of denominators.

Does a deeply mystical beauty seen in these laws and constants - all of the discovered order underlying the universe - represent the "God" of some allegedly atheistic scientists? I suspect that it does, albeit that there usually seems to be a cautious avoidance of applying any "God" word; after all, the failure to apply a label does nothing to detract from the reality, but rather releases the understanding from preconceived notions.

(Rev, it might be fair that the angel bringing us to momentary consciousness at least drop a clue about those little details. It could make a big difference to some foetuses! smile )

While the above is surely a beautiful perspective, it relies specifically upon a certain knowledge of the physical universe. More broadly, 'mind' has emerged from this order with the capacity to identify the spiritually poetic not in those laws and constants alone, but in all aspects of existence and experience.


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So am I expected to assume that, if given a choice, all who have posted here would choose life, not oblivion?

What about guests? There must be quite a few as there has been over 340 clicks in three days. It doesn't take a lot of time to give a yes, or no, and let us know you are there.

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/12/08 03:16 PM.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
So am I expected to assume that, if given a choice, all who have posted here would choose life, not oblivion?

I don't think you can assume that, Rev. Those who responded directly to the question you posed considered it invalid, since the foetus knows nothing of life.


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rede wrote;

'I don't think you can assume that, Rev. Those who responded directly to the question you posed considered it invalid, since the foetus knows nothing of life.'

... and therefore, I agree, cannot make an informed choice.

An example of an informed choice for oblivion would be that of a person with an incurable painful disease choosing to die.

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I think redewenur correctly answered your invalid question, in stating that the foetus knows nothing of life.

Given that, I cannot see how God in his infinite wisdom could ever allow oblivion in his Universe.
For Oblivion has no meaning even to God, until he first gives life to the living.


.

.
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Quote:
I don't think you can assume that, Rev. Those who responded directly to the question you posed considered it invalid, since the foetus knows nothing of life.
Okay, RedE, and anyone: What is a valid question, here?

Keep in mind: I admit I am using my imagination. This is fiction, a concocted story. Because there is no direct scientific evidence, yet, that you, me, or anyone has lived before, I am pretending that I was here before; that I did choose to come back again, and in circumstances I worked out with the guidance of a wiser spiritual being--one who no longer needs to reincarnation.


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Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

" ... the foetus knows nothing of life.
Not even unconsciously?

Quote:
Given that, I cannot see how God in his infinite wisdom could ever allow oblivion in his Universe.
For Oblivion has no meaning even to God, until he first gives life to the living.
Interesting comment.

The following are serious questions. No sarcasm intended: Does hell have meaning to God? Did you get your information from God? How?


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Rev, returning to your question, it seems very much like:

"Knowing what you know about life, do you think it is ethical to bring babies into the world, and why?"


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Quote:
"Knowing what you know about life, do you think it is ethical to bring babies into the world, and why?"
Good way to put the question.

I said that this thread was an experiment.

Perhaps I should start over and make the scenario like this:
You are at the end of your life and you have become convinced that there is some kind of life after death, but not one with a heaven and/or hell.

You will have the opportunity to choose, or NOT to choose, to live a new life similar to--but not exactly like--the one you have had. The new life will have the same dangers and opportunities. You will have the opportunity to build on what you have learned in this life and to improve things.
What would you choose?

As to your question: I believe that every child has the right to be born into a good home--not necessarily materially rich--where he/she is wanted, loved and educated to be a humane being. I am not saying: There ought to be laws like they have in China, but I am not happy when ill-prepared--even inhumane--parents are allowed to have any number of children who are then condemned by circumstances to live in poverty.



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I believe that every child has the right to be born into a good home--not necessarily materially rich--where he/she is wanted, loved and educated to be a humane being. I am not saying: There ought to be laws like they have in China, but I am not happy when ill-prepared--even inhumane--parents are allowed to have any number of children who are then condemned by circumstances to live in poverty.

Well said Rev

What would you choose you ask? Probably it would depend on the experience of life. For some oblivion would be preferable, for others the same again would be lovely --and for some, a similar life but with a firm resolution to do some things differently. But it could never be exactly the same could it? Maybe the people you are interacting with are also changing the situation as they go! It would then end, as life often does, in unplanned chaos. Seems to be a reason to live every day as best we can because we won't get another go.

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Ellis: "Probably it would depend on the experience of life."

More than probably, I would say. Most of us, having been born into the materially developed regions, have experienced the luxury of "resting in green fields, beside still waters", to paraphrase the psalm. In some ways, we know only too well the meaning of the word 'suffering'; and in our midst, we see appalling suffering. But we, here, have not experienced the unremitting harsh circumstances familiar to most people on this small blue dot. We've had the opportunity to savour the more attractive aspects of existence. We have time to reflect, to philosophise, and to post on the SAGG forum. Given that, together with the instinctive drive for survival, it should be of little surprise to learn that most of us would opt for another round of the same.


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"Seems to be a reason to live every day as best we can because we won't get another go."

I respect your point, Ellis, but think of this question: What is living "every day as best we can" anyway?

For those of us who are selfish and greedy--and also myopic about there being any life beyond this one--it is having as many material and luxury items we can, now. If I don't get it now, I never will. And I don't care who gets hurt in the process of my getting what I want.

DO MANY PEOPLE REALLY BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE NO PERSONAL AND FUTURE CONSEQUENCES, EVER, FOR THE THOSE WHO DO GREAT EVIL, OR GOOD IN THIS LIFE?

Surely this kind of lack of belief in any future-life consequences, one way or the other, must be the basic cause of a lot social injustice, of crime, including wars of aggression.

I am not an advocate of using nothing but sticks like fear, guilt and shame to motivate people to be better do good things, but who of us would obey all the annoying laws out there, pay all the taxes we should, or be Good Samaritans just out of the goodness of heart? You recall that it was fear of that "dream of death" and "What dreams may come?" is what kept Hamlet from taking his life.

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"... most of us would opt for another round of the same." RedE comments. He also mentions the: "...instinctive drive for survival."

THE FOLLOWING IS STRICTLY MY PERSONAL BELIEF AND OPINION:

As I said before, I was born into poverty, raised in third-world conditions (lots of bad nutrition, TB, etc., and lack of good health care). At an early age--1932 to 1944--witnessed many deaths in my family and community, including the deaths of over 60 young merchant seamen. In 1942--I was 12--I witnessed the sinking (there were two battles) of four iron-ore carriers, by enemy subs, right near the island where I was born and raised. For the story check out: http://www.bellisland.net

Looking back, this could have turned me into being a fearful and bitter cynic about the teaching that there is an all-loving and all-powerful God who is in control and is protecting us. For a short time--I was 15, in high school with a developing interest in the practical sciences--I did toy with the idea that, for most people, life is the pits. Only a few of the 10,000 people on Bell Island had power and wealth. Most of us were wage slaves. But the good news is: The war was good for us in that it did provide full employment and me with the opportunity to get an education.

I got out of high school at 16. One of the jobs I got was picking rocks out of iron ore--10 hours a day, six days a week. Very boring! But it was a job. I earned all of 58 cents per hour. WOW! BTW, The same company, Dominion Iron & Steel, paid laborers in Nova Scotia, Canada, 90 cents per hour. Newfoundland did not federate with Canada until 1949--when I was a junior at http://www.mta.ca

To make a long story short: Inspired by my minister, who came to our island in 1942, when I was twelve, I decided not to be a cynic or a bitter skeptic. Skeptical, yes--even agnostic. But a curious and skeptical agnostic, not a bitter one.

MY SPIRITUAL GUIDES
The new minister was a good thinker and an interesting speaker. He was also very interested in youth and even looked after the Scout Troop--and the school--of which I was a proud member.

Keep in mind: At that time, we had church-operated schools. Each denomination had its own schools. The minister, or priest, was chair of the church school board and, thankfully, our minister chose inspiring teachers.

I call all of them my spiritual guides. Together, they gave those of us--that is, those who chose to listen--the following message: With God and a good education, many things are possible. I chose to believe, and to act on, this. But, thankfully, I was not expected to believe and follow, blindly.

Looking back, I am glad that I did choose to believe.

May I ask: To what extent should I feel guilty that I was so fortunate, when others were not?




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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
May I ask: To what extent should I feel guilty that I was so fortunate, when others were not?

Rev, was your 'good fortune' something, as you seem to imply, over which you had control or influence? If so, in what way did your good fortune contribute to the lack of good fortune for others?


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Originally Posted By: redewenur
... Rev, was your 'good fortune' something, as you seem to imply, over which you had control or influence? If so, in what way did your good fortune contribute to the lack of good fortune for others?
Re: question 1 :I made choices, including meditation, which got me the results I needed.
Re: 2: I guess it is more a feeling of sadness for others than one of guilt.


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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
Re: 2: I guess it is more a feeling of sadness for others than one of guilt.

Yes. This sadness at the misfortunes of others is actually grief - which often transforms itself into guilt, even though events are not in our hands.


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Quote:
Let Us Assume that all who read this post belong to a group of un-born foetuses--children within an hour, or so, of being born.

An angel--bringing us to a momentary consciousness--tells us: "You Are Given A Choice. You Can Choose be Born Into Life With all The Kinds Of Dangers and/or Opportunities Life Can Have In Store, Or You Can Choose Not To Be Born at all. What Do You Choose? Life? Or The Kind of Oblivion from Which You Now Came?

"At Birth you will have no memory that there was ever such a thing as life before, or evidence of life beyond birth. You willd just have to believe in one, or the other, and then make your choice.

"You will get no information about the kind of parents you will have, or about the kind of life there will be in store for you. You will just have to take your chances.

"Given the above, what will you choose? Conscious life. Or life in an unconscious oblivion?"



Hmmm, this is a tough one..
I think I wanna be a dog so I can lick myself where I can't now.


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TT,
This is a science forum. Your remarks are needlessly crude. Please refrain from such remarks in future, or I will edit your remarks.

Amaranth,
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If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose

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I think Turtle asked a good question here:
Originally Posted By: TT
Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
Do you normally think this way or are just sarcastic because your bored?

Maybe Turtle is just bored.

I (obviously) am a bit also.
wink

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Anonymous,
If you're bored how about finding some interesting topics to post? We are always looking for new posts that are scientific in nature and of interest to others. It would be a better use of your time than making pointless or off topic comments to other people's threads.

Amaranth
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If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose

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Quote:
Amaranth Rose II:
TT,
This is a science forum. Your remarks are needlessly crude. Please refrain from such remarks in future, or I will edit your remarks.

So your saying... the question posed in the, lets pretend your an unborn foetus thread, is scientific. frown
Hmmm... Well I can see why you would want to edit the comment.

I guess I wasn't pretending properly. Damn...I hate when that happens!


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Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
So your saying... the question posed in the, lets pretend your an unborn foetus thread, is scientific. frown

Hi, Tutor Turtle.

At the risk of talking to myself if your post gets deleted, you're probably aware that there are, in science, such things as 'thought experiments'. They begin with 'Let's pretend...". Einstein, Wheeler, and many others created thought experiments that are often quoted for their penetrating insight. Whilst it's not even remotely likely that we, at our humble level, are about to produce Earth-shattering revelations on the nature of reality, threads like this provide the opportunity for discussion of issues that are rapidly becoming the focus of scientific investigation, particularly in such fields as neuroscience. Sciences concerned with the functions of the brain, the nature of consciousness, 'emergent' qualities and the related phenomena, are as important as any other.

You will note that this thread is placed in the Not-Quite-Science Forum out of deference to those who adhere strictly to reductionism. By all means participate if you feel you have a constructive contribution to offer. If not, there are other threads that might be more to your liking. smile


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Thanks for your comment Rede. If my memory serves me well, Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

BTW, about my thought experiment: We could consider it in connection with PSYCHOLOGY and PNEUMATOLOGY.

With your help--Thanks!--and that of others, I came to the realization that my thought experiment was not properly set up and worded. Therefore, in brainmeta.com--where there is no limit to editing, or to the length of the question--I have set it up in the form similar, but not exactly, to the following question:

If You Were Given the Choice About the Nature, Duration and Number of Lives You would be Able to Live, What Would You Choose? Any Number? Or Just This One? How Long Would You Like to Live in This Life? Let us give our answer plus our reasons for the choice.

THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL THREAD. The idea is to explore how we think about the duration of life. Some people have no problem believing in the teachings of the major religions. Others think of the idea as nonsense, a money-making racket set up by doctrinaire religions. What about you? What do you think?

Some--For example, reincarnationists--believe that we have lived before and that we will live again. Others find it virtually impossible to even imagine the idea. Others never give it a second thought. As a wag once said: "Some people do not even believe in life after supper." laugh

Here is a pneumatological question: When it comes to the things we believe, or do not believe, what makes us so different from one another?

BTW, I have no problem accepting a wide variety of beliefs as long as they are rational, moral, ethical, legal and serve the public Good--what I like to think of as "creative variety." The current moderator of the United Church, the Rt. Rev. David Giuliano, wants the UC to be one that is "radically inclusive" of a wide variety of beliefs.

How we should we handle beliefs that are divisive and often contrary to reason is another question.
=================================================================

Now, Let us use our imagination as we consider the following.

You--I, we--are told by some inner voice, spirit guide, whatever:

HERE IS T HE SET UP
===================
You are at the end of your life. You have lived before and you have become convinced that there is some kind of life after this one. However, you strongly feel that it is the kind you were taught by any religions--the ones with a judgment day followed by getting assigned to a heaven or a hell.

If you were given the opportunity to have another go at living, would you? And what kind of life would you want it to be?

By the way, you are prepared to accept that the new life will have the same kind of crises--dangers and opportunities--you have had in this life. However, you also feel that there will be the opportunity to build on your past experiences and to improve things for all future lives, for you and others, to come.

Accepting this, what would we choose? Would you be willing to take the risk? Or would you prefer to not to bother.

Me? I would be willing to take the risk.

BTW, what are your thoughts about REINCARNATION. WHAT DO YOU KNOW AND FEEL ABOUT IT? Do you think it is a lot of nonsense? Why?

Some, who believe in reincarnation--about which I keep and open mind--say: One way or another, life in inevitable. But help is available, but only if you agree to accept it. It is your choice to make things worse, or better.

Or do you feel we only live once? period.


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Rev: "BTW, what are your thought about REINCARNATION......WHAT DO YOU KNOW AND FEEL ABOUT IT?..."

Reincarnation may be a reality, regardless of what I believe, but I think it's improbable because there's a lack of evidence and, as far as I'm aware, there's no known physical process by which it has been shown to be possible. However, that doesn't make it impossible.

Rev: "what would we choose? Would you be willing to take the risk? Or would you prefer to not to bother."

If I were guaranteed to get at least as good an innings as I've had this time around, I would certainly sign up for another round.

Rev: "Or do you feel we only live once? period."

Just to throw a light on where I'm coming from:

My interpretation of things is probably the result of my unconscious, intuitive assessment of the probabilities relating to those things, overlaid by conscious thoughts, and influenced by my various perceived and unperceived wants and needs, together with emotions.

According to that interpretation, I conclude that:

(1) There is, most probably, a self-consistent objective reality existing independently of interpretation and belief
(2) Believing something to be true does not make it true.
(3) Believing something to be untrue does not make it untrue.
(4) While something has not been shown to be true, it may still not be false.
(5) When something has been shown to be true, it remains so only while it cannot be shown to be untrue.

This is the bottom line of my interpretation of things:

There's a greater reality of unimaginably profound and beautiful spirituality of which, if we are very fortunate, we catch the slightest glimpse now and then. It's this from whence we come, and it's to this that we return. smile


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Hi, Tutor Turtle.

At the risk of talking to myself if your post gets deleted, you're probably aware that there are, in science, such things as 'thought experiments'.

I'm fully aware of hypothesis, but the question regarding incarnation in this case isn't thought out. If one has actually studied the philosophy of reincarnation, or cause and effect, the question would hypothetically follow those universal laws.
First one would have to decide for themselves whether incarnation was a conscious or random act. Then reincarnation would imply that consciousness in the case of individuality applies to a living entity that outlasts the construct of human appearances or human flesh.
If that consciousness came from an oblivion of some sort, re-incarnation would be a moot point. Oblivion translates to a void of endless nothing, The word oblivion means the state of complete unawareness, unconsciousness, or forgetfulness; or the state of being completely forgotten. Therefor to idealize an unconscious consciousness that is the essence of human life reduces any Theory of God to chaos and as such would be devoid of any angelic armies or hierarchy by simple reasoning.
(I'm being logical and facetious at the same time) wink

If we are to be scientific and truly objective then no answer is a wrong answer including the one I gave, for it doesn't attack the original post as Amaranth Rose suggests. Scientifically or psychologically she chose to personally identify with the remark and took offense. She doesn't know me and so she projected herself rather than having actually placed me in the scenario.
What I respect and what she respects are two different things, obviously.
I did answer within the boundaries of the question. It said I came from oblivion and was given temporary consciousness (tho it didn't specify it was God consciousness, or that equal to the angel). And since science often looks at consciousness as simply the firing of neurons within the fleshy substance encased in the skull of human form, and hasn't universally accepted a consciousness that survives the human condition, I chose an answer that I felt fit within the boundaries of loose and superstitious thinking.
People take offense due to their attachment to the way they see things. I think a moderator would be a bit more objective and less invested in personal feelings or limited boundaries of personal thought. Like fully placing ones self in anothers' shoes before deciding from the outside what is in those shoes.

Just my thoughts tho. I like to think I can intuitively read people like she does, but maybe with less investment in how people are victims in their world and more like they are conscious creators, and I try not to make any assumptions about someone without having more than one experience of them.

I noticed also that the Rev has updated the question, as demonstrated by his Brain-meta reference making it clear that he himself agrees the question wasn't well thought out.

Someone told me in another thread that their sarcasm had intention, specifically he said.."I like to think that I make people think."

I like to think that my response would take someone to the witnessing aspect of psychological awareness, in noticing the emotional attachments, and then to realize they are not their emotions. A Child eventually gets over themselves as they grow up and start thinking more about their relationship with the world rather than their sandbox, what's in it, and whether anyone can come in to play and disturb personal boundaries. Some Children never grow up tho and objectivity becomes to them something they understand but never live. For them sticks and stones break their bones and words annihilate their low self esteem.

If we are going to discuss reincarnation how about we establish a reality such as God, or a consciousness that exists prior to human form, and then pretend how the consciousness establishes itself into form by discussing scientific probabilities.

I can fully understand pretending a God exists if one doesn't have an experience of God and then pretending this God is intelligent or overbearing and demands humans perform tricks like some kind of animal but we haven't established that in this game of pretend.

The Reverend at least gets to a more serious question of belief in reincarnation tho he doesn't say he believes in it.
He just says he's open to it.
So in light of his own approach I would say he shouldn't be invested in any kind of response since he doesn't really believe in his own topic, and I was not attacking his topic.

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TT, the text you quoted above (in #26767) was posted by me, not by Rev. King.


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You're right!! So I deleted it.


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Thoughtful response, Rede. Note that I have re-edited the above set up. And at top of my post I have related it to psychology and pneumatology, which, IMO are "sciences", especially pneumatology (the mother of psychology), which deserve far more attention than they are getting.

It goes without saying that I have a great deal of respect for who we are, somatologically--that is, physically--the rightful realm of the hard sciences. But, with you, I have a strong intuitive feeling that "there is a greater reality" than that sensed by the senses and confined to the somatic dimensions.

I repeat: What I am calling for is a holistic approach to understanding what nature is and who we are within it. Perhaps life a matter of nature, nurture and pneumature. This holistic approach is calls for a delicate balance of somatic, psychosomatic and pneumasomatic factors--physical, mental and spiritual. Health is what we call it when all three are in balance and harmony.

This poses questions about the nature and cause of diseases. Somatic diseases are obvious. There was a time when medical science believed that all diseases are somatic. They bring on pains and suffering to the body and mind, as a whole, and in its parts. They operate somato psychically.

PSYCHOSOMATIC DISEASE
But what of diseases which appear to originate in the psyche, the mind, that give aches and pain to the body?

Since the 1930's we have become familiar with the term, "psychosomatic". Medical science finally came to accept that certain, not all, physical aches and pain can originate in the way we precess things, mentally. Stress, that is, stress in excess, in the mind can give us the feeling of physical stress and pain in the body.

See THE STRESS OF LIFE, by the great Canadian researcher, Dr. Hans Selye. (do a google). Experimenting with animals, Dr. Selye demonstrated what excessive stress--some stress is normal--can to the glands and bodies of animals. It can bring about a painful and early death.

However, Selye took note that none of the animals used in the experiment every gave themselves stress. All stress was imposed on them by humans. It seemed that only humans gave themselves stress.

PNEUMA-PSYCHOSOMATIC DISEASE
Enter the pneuma factor. (Be back. Got to go, for now. More on this, later.)




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For me the one of the problems of re-incarnation is, aside from its more horrible implications of belief in karma, is that it only allows for reincarnation of humans. I think that the human is an animal as other animals. We are weak compared to others, smaller and less able to defend ourselves and so we have developed our intelligence to allow us to survive. Since we differ in only minor ways from other animals should not they be able to reincarnate? Or do believers of this idea think that the ability to live again lies in the 2% of our genetic heritage that we do not share with the apes?

A second problem is that, like a voice from the afterlife, there is absolutely no credible evidence that either has ever happened, ever, anywhere!

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A second problem is that, like a voice from the afterlife, there is absolutely no credible evidence that either has ever happened, ever, anywhere!

Before a teenager drives a car they can only imagine what it is like. After driving it there is no way he will imagine it the same way.
When one has an experience of a past life they do not imagine their life the same anymore.
Trying to convince someone else of their experience is a moot point. There is no practical interest in a skeptic to know of something they do not accept on a deep conscious level.

If you offer a fat, food addicted person a chance to fast at a nice quiet retreat, or a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, the chances are the retreat will come in second.
People who are committing themselves to their beliefs or their lines in the sand because of their experience are going to be a hard sell when it comes to experiencing something new.
If it isn't mainstream it is going to be less credible.

For those who have clear visions of past lives there can be plenty of arguments for their experiences to be imaginary, mostly because of disbelief. But does it really matter unless one decides to give up their beliefs or their experiences just because other don't agree?

The following is an excerpt from a website that details discussions and teachings of JJ Dewey

The Milgram Experiment

Monday, December 14, 1998 4:57 AM

A while back Dateline had a special on the power of Authority.

They started the show by showing an old clip from Candid Camera. In this clip the victim of the show entered an elevator with about six other people in it. The funny thing was that the other six (who worked with Candid Camera) were told to face different directions at different times.

Normally when you are in an elevator you face the door, but this group all faced the inside panel with their backs toward the door. Even though this was very odd, the victim did not want to be different so he turned with his back toward the door. Then they showed several clips of the people in the elevator and every time the group turned, the victim turned with them.

It seemed kind of funny and I'm sure the Candid Camera audience got a good laugh out of it, but the reality behind this is the scariest human trait we possess. That is, most of mankind will follow the leader or group even if it makes no sense or if it goes against every moral teaching they have ever been taught.

The second part of the feature had an experiment done with college students. Again they had an unsuspecting victim participating with a group of about a half dozen that knew what was going on. The group was shown a set of four lines and of the four there were two of equal length. They were then asked to pick the two lines that were equal. They showed the lines on TV and it was obvious which two were the correct match.

The next thing they did was to have the planted students all give the same wrong match. Then when it became the victim's turn you could tell he began to doubt what his eyes and reasoning were telling him. Some of the victims gave the right answer for a round or two but one by one each victim gave in and started giving the wrong answer as the right answer, even though he knew within himself that it was wrong.

The interesting thing about watching their faces on TV was that they all looked a little depressed when they started knowingly giving the wrong answers as right answers. It was almost like the poor kids were selling their souls.

Finally they showed the most alarming experiment of all authority which was conducted by Stanley Milgram way back in the sixties.

Milgram was curious about how a group of apparently normal people like the Germans could have participated in the Nazi atrocities which was against every moral teaching that they ever believed in. Their excuse was always the same: "I was just following orders."

Below is a description of the experiment:

When the "teacher" asked whether increased shocks should be given he/she was verbally encouraged to continue. Sixty-five percent of the "teachers" obeyed orders to punish the learner to the very end of the 450-volt scale! No subject stopped before reaching 300 volts!

At times, the worried "teachers" questioned the experimenter, asking who was responsible for any harmful effects resulting from shocking the learner at such a high level. Upon receiving the answer that the experimenter assumed full responsibility, teachers seemed to accept the response and continue shocking, even though some were obviously extremely uncomfortable in doing so.

What was interesting about watching this on Dateline was that when the subject hit the high voltage the pretended victim screamed like crazy and even said he had a bad heart and that the experiment was killing him.

The subject then turned to the authority as if asking what to do and the authority told him to continue. If the subject seemed to doubt the authority told him that he would take responsibility.

Then the subject continued to shock the supposed victim past 300 volts until he went silent. This indicated the victim was either unconscious or dead. Still the subject did not cease. He continued to increase the voltage clear up to 450 which would mean that if the victim was not dead yet this would surely kill him.

The interesting thing is that if this was a real happening, the subject would not only have killed another human being which was against every teaching that he believed in, but he would have also been brought up on murder charges. It is scary that even that possibility did not deter the subject from following authority.

The funny thing about these experiments is that the scientists predicted that only one out of a thousand would follow an authority to shock up to 450 volts, but 65% went that far and 100% of the subjects went up to 300 volts, which is still enough to kill.

Thus we have a great example of the true mark of the beast on the right hand - the willingness to follow blind authority no matter what the consequences.

The interesting thing is that very few people know themselves well enough to know whether or not they would administer the 300 or more volts to an innocent brother. Most would think that they would never do such a thing, but are they right? Remember, 100% of those in the experiment yielded to the authority.

Even more sinister is the mark in the forehead. Remember the philosophy of Big Brother in the novel 1984? It was not enough that people did as they were told. In addition to this he demanded that they also love Big Brother and totally embrace everything he stood for in their belief system. If someone was caught having independent thought he was not executed immediately. First he had to be brainwashed into loving Big Brother and when the victim demonstrated that he was willing to accept an obvious falsehood from Big Brother with Love, then he was shot, but not before.

Now we must remember that over half of the world's population is under the direct obvious control of some Big Brother type of government. For these inhabitants there is often no way for immediate escape from the mark of the Beast. They have to at least pretend to go along or they will not be able to get work, will not be able to buy or sell and may wind up executed.

It's a little different in the Free World. We do not have to receive the mark here; instead, we embrace it by our own free will, just as do the subjects in the Milgram experiment. They were free. They could have gotten up any moment and left, but they did not.

Kyle said that perhaps religion administers the mark of the beast in the free world. Yes, this is true as shown by Jonestown, Heavens Gate and your fanatical neighbor down the street, but this is only part of the mark.

The mark is demonstrated before us right now on TV by the Democrats and Republicans in the impeachment proceedings. Both sides are going along with group thought. I think out of the 435 Representatives only one Republican and no Democrats defied their party thoughtform and authoritative leaders on the last Impeachment vote.

One of about 435 going against accepted authorities. That's how powerful the beast is! It doesn't matter to the beast if you are Republican or Democrat, or even which is closer to the truth. What matters is control.

The question we need to ask ourselves is: "Would I be strong enough to be one out of the 435?"

Would we have been strong enough as an early Christian to refuse to acknowledge Caesar as God and allow ourselves to be fed to lions?

Putting religion aside you have to admire these followers of Christ who gave their lives to defy the beast. Their lives were not in vain, for they paved the way to the wounding of the beast. Now finally we are in a point in time and space where the whole beast will be destroyed, but before we can destroy such an enemy we must know and understand what it is and how it functions.

The beast, as a whole, is not a country or anything physical, but is blind authority and is demonstrated by the "blind following the blind."

The beast is destroyed by opening the eyes of the blind, and this we shall do with power and great glory, but first we must open our own eyes to the one authority - the Spirit of God within us.

Now we shall attack the greatest, most discussed mystery of the whole Bible - the number of the Beast. Everything you have learned so far has just been preparation to understand this mystery.

Rev 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.


Generally speaking, we live in defiance of possibility until proof makes us give up our position, or our line in the sand.
Proof is always relative, and consciousness/God itself, is not bound to relative laws within scientific boundaries.
Reincarnation is a lot like God. Some have a gut feeling about the intelligence within the Universe and past lives, and others ignore their gut feelings because of the nature of authority and proof.
We, all to easily, allow our subtle cognitive abilities to wither and die long before our bodies do.

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Originally Posted By: Ellis
For me the one of the problems of re-incarnation is, aside from its more horrible implications of belief in karma, is that it only allows for reincarnation of humans.

I share your scepticism, but moral objections aren't an argument for the truth or falsity of the issue.

Regarding the point of humans v. other animals, one's idea of reincarnation need not - indeed, should not - be restricted by the ideas of others. Accepting the possible validity of the basic hypothesis doesn't require the adoption of a pre-existing cultural edifice, or any part thereof.


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For me, Ellis, one of the problems of re-incarnation is, aside from its more horrible implications of belief in karma, is that it only allows for reincarnation of humans.
This is an excellent example which demonstrates how differently we humans think about the same topic.

RE-INCARNATION AND THE MORAL ARGUMENT
=====================================
Of course, as one who believes in doing my best to be a moral, ethical and loving person, without conditions, I believe that it is best to do that which is righteous, good and true just because it is the best thing to do. But is it wrong to think to oneself: "I have discovered that every time I treat my wife, my family and my neighbours well they seem to reciprocate. I have become convinced that living by the Golden Rule--treat others as you would like them to treat you--is a good idea."

Human pets have discovered this principle ages ago.

If you think the above is nonsense, then there is not much left to dialogue about; but if we are agreed on the above, let us apply this to the idea that it is possible that all life is ongoing. In my opinion, all life will, eventually go on, and on, and on, into the spiritual dimensions; but sometimes it is necessary for certain lives--animals, vegetables and minerals--to reincarnate in this three-dimensional form.

RE-INCARNATION--MY PERSONAL BELIEFS ABOUT
=========================================
It is for all of nature, including animals, vegetable and minerals.

RE-INCARNATION--NOT ALL FUN AND GAMES
=====================================
In my opinion, re-incarnation can be fun, especially when one gets the opportunity to live a long, happy, healthy, prosperous, rewarding and successful life. It would be interesting to know: What percentage of any population gets this opportunity.

However, unless one enjoys being disciplined and educated--sometimes in a strict manner, sometimes with large dollops of pain and suffering--re-incarnation is not necessarily a reward.

For example, here is what I believe about myself. And I have no proof, yet, that this is so. Keep in mind, this is what I believe, personally:

I have the intuition that in my last time on earth I was a rich, powerful and arrogant SOB. In the belief that we only live once, I fought my way to the top, without much regard for others who got in my way. I wanted my life to be rewarding now, not in some kind of airy-fairy after life.

The first son--I was number one of five boys and three girls--of a British naval admiral. One of his ancestor's, Captain James King sailed with Captain James Cook (1728-1779).
Quote:
Hawkesworth, John, Capt. James Cook) and James King
THE THREE VOYAGES OF CAPTAIN COOK, 9 vols, Including Folio Atlas

London, 1773, 1777 and 1785 W. Strahan & T. Cadell Captain Cook's three voyages, one of the greatest of all eighteenth century explorations in the Pacific are featured here in 9 volumes chronicling his adventurous navigational travels and discovery in detail. Cook first sailed to Tahiti charting his way to New Zealand and the east coast of Australia and other islands. His second voyage would take him in search of the Antarctic, while his third voyage, the search of the Northwest Passage would unfortunately be his last. Captain Cook was killed by natives of Hawaii leaving Captain James King to finish the last entry of his last voyage.
http://www.ilab.org/db/book1360_pb.0311.html
Quote:
Captain James Cook in Newfoundland, 1762-1767
Introduction
James Cook was based in Newfoundland, off the Eastern coast of Canada, from 1762 to 1767. He arrived there in 1762 as master of HMS Northumberland. The next year, 1763, he returned as surveyor of Newfoundland and was given command of the schooner Grenville. He then spent the summers of 1763 to 1767 surveying a large portion of the coast of the island. For most of this period we have copies of logbooks and journals that Cook (or more likely, the master's mate, William Parker and Michael Lane) kept, recording the results of the surveys, their movements, the weather and other assorted pieces of information. Cook also wrote up sailing directions for the South, West and North coasts of Newfoundland and they are reproduced here. Finally, a considerable amount of correspondence exists concerning Cook's surveys and this will be added as it becomes available.

I have undertaken to provide notes to provide background information about locations, people, ships, nautical terms and any other pieces of text that warrant explanation. This extra information appears in the right-hand column under notes but gradually live links will take you to fuller explanations on other pages. The pages were started in late November 2004. Now (May 2005), most of the transcriptions of the logbooks and journals have been added though most of the notes fields are far from complete. These will be added more slowly, as and when I have time.

Cook's time in Newfoundland was most important but remains largely unknown and ignored. It gave Cook the opportunity to acquire new skills (surveying, astronomy and leadership) and hone existing ones (navigation and seamanship) so that when the Endeavour voyage was contemplated in 1768, Cook was the ideal candidate for the job of leader of the expedition.

I was born around 1780, and grew up during the time of Wellington (1769-1852), Nelson (1758-1805) and Napoleon (1769-1821). I was with my father at the battle of Trafalgar, 1805. My family and mother were of the aristocratic establishment, including the established church. I grew up as a formal British Christian. My mother was very religious and demanded that all her children be raised as good Christians. When I moved away from home, like a hypocrite I went to church once in a blue moon, and accepted the usual doctrines, just in case ...

My upper classes education, received in private schools, prepared me to work in one of the family businesses, or I could join the army, or navy. Because I admired my father, I chose the navy. I joined as a young midshipman and, later, I became an officer in the naval marines. With an eye for business inherited from my father, I chose the navy so I could travel. As an old poster read: "Join The Navy and See the World". Naturally, I got the opportunity to see what was going on in the colonies. In my first voyage

My father, though in time of need he was prepared to serve in the navy of his king and country, when he got in the higher ranks, he did not spend all his time at sea. In cooperation with other members of the family, he ran several businesses having to do with providing supplies for the navy. My family got quite wealthy providing all those supplies for the ships and crew of his majesty's Royal Navy.

BTW, As an arrogant officer of marines, in charge of supplies, I rode the sailors hard as they went about their daily duties. Because of this I was not popular with the ordinary seamen, most of whom were not volunteers. I thought of most of them as the scum of earth.

After several years in the navy, I left and began a business career working for a member of the family who made a fortune in the fishery off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. He was also into timber, and even some mining. Over the years sailors and other servants of the king ate tons of salt cod from Newfoundland. There was always the need for timber and minerals. Needless to say, I too made a fortune and lived well. I lived in expensive homes, had the best clothes, smoked expensive cigars and drank the best wines, rum and brandy. Sad to say, I now realize, many of those I exploited did not fare near so well.

In my sixties I was much overweight. In addition I suddenly became ill with a serious kidney and liver disease. One doctor told me: "Knowing your eating and drinking habits, I am surprised you been healthy this long."

When I became very ill and was told I was going to die, I, suddenly, became very "religious". To make sure that I would die forgiven of all my sins I demanded the attention of my High Church Anglican priest. To get all the attention I felt I deserved, I even gave the priest and the church a few healthy donations.

When I arrived in what I will now call "the world of the dead" I was shocked to find: "This is not the kind of heavenly place I was expecting." But the good news is: Neither was it the kind of hell which I was taught to dread--one filled with people suffering in eternal flames. It seemed more like a large an old-fashioned hospital with all kinds of people, some of whom I knew, with all kinds of physical, mental and spiritual conditions. In many ways it was not unlike life on earth. But the difference was ... [The story will continue.]





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For me the one of the problems of re-incarnation is, aside from its more horrible implications of belief in karma, is that it only allows for reincarnation of humans.
Sounds like all of your problems exist in your knowledge and beliefs of reincarnation. You don't understand Karma other than what you have heard, and you don't believe reincarnation applies to animals.

Why not just change your beliefs?
"Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang shoot shoot"...-John Lennon


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TT, note: It was our good friend , Ellis, who expressed the skepticism. He didn't believe in re-incarnation when he was here the last time, either? smile

I have a feeling that we are on the same path, eh?--as we say in Canada. Me? I have believed in the possibility of re-incarnation ever since I was a little frog. laugh

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/22/08 07:24 PM.

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TT Rev and Rede......

It's all much more simple than all the philosophical theories you are suggesting.I don't believe in reincarnation because I don't believe in any sort of an afterlife other than that which we have in the memory of others. That's it. When you are dead that's it. It's over.



Rev wrote--- I believe that it is best to do that which is righteous, good and true just because it is the best thing to do. But is it wrong to think to oneself: "I have discovered that every time I treat my wife, my family and my neighbours well they seem to reciprocate. I have become convinced that living by the Golden Rule--treat others as you would like them to treat you--is a good idea."

Human pets have discovered this principle ages ago.


I could not agree more. The Golden Rule is the one thing that repeats in every religion and rule. Re pets --there is a lovely SF story about the way dogs have manipulated us to do their will by worshipping us. It's very clever, and really funny, a rare thing with SF. I can't remember the title and have lent the book to someone so can't check it!!


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I don't believe in reincarnation because I don't believe in any sort of an afterlife other than that which we have in the memory of others. That's it. When you are dead that's it. It's over.
I had a belief once....


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OK, Ellis, I guess, by now I know from whence you are coming. And I respect your point of view. You are convinced that this is it.

If you are right, we will miss each other in the hereafter. But I hope you don't mind me saying: I hope you are wrong.


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You might miss each other in the hereafter even if he believed in reincarnation. One does not always take with them memories of other lives.


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Continuing my story:

In many ways it (my life in the world of the dead) was not unlike life on earth--a place of crises--danger and opportunity. I even met Ellis and other Internet-friends there.

But the difference was I also met many of the people I had wronged, despised and treated so unjustly, when I lived the life of a SOB decades ago. Because of this I experienced no peace of mind. I did not RIP (rest in peace).

Eventually, I expressed my wish to do something about it. I sincerely wanted to have peace of mind. Like old Scrooge in Dickens' famous Christmas Carol, I said to my spirit guides that I was willing to make amends for the kind of life I had lived.

As a result of my sincere desire a spiritual guide appeared. The guide told me: Here is how you can make amends, and have peace of mind. Unless you want to go on feeling miserable, you will need to go back to earth and live, without moaning and groaning about it, a life similar to that of one of the ones you exploited in your last life time. You will actually reap what you sowed by experiencing the same kind of pain you caused others. However, if you live this life graciously, and take advantage of the opportunities which will come your way, peace of mind will be granted to you, eventually.

Here is your assignment: You are given the opportunity to be the child of an un-educated fisherman/miner/carpenter--one of the working-poor class--in the colony of Newfoundland, the same place where your family had once made its fortune. You will be number seven of eight children.

Are you willing to accept this opportunity to redeem yourself?

I said, "I agree."

The above story is from my imagination; the following is a fact: Thus I was born, Jan.14--a cold and crisp day--1930, in the midst of depression and on the verge of a world war. I was the seventh child of a family without many of the comforts of life; and one which did not need another child to feed and care for at that time. Number eight, a sister, was born in 1932.

Last edited by Revlgking; 06/23/08 04:52 AM.

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Nice story Rev- and it has the ring of truth about it. And from what I have read of your philosophies on line, I think that you would have enjoyed the outcome. You seem to have had a full and interesting life, and still a long way to go!

TT. I am female, not that that makes any difference to the pleasure I would have greeting Rev,( who would be shouting "you were wrong"), in the afterlife.

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TT. I am female, not that that makes any difference to the pleasure I would have greeting Rev,( who would be shouting "you were wrong"), in the afterlife.


But if you don't believe in the afterlife, why make a statement to this affect.
And I'm not wrong. wink

Also, what exactly was the inspiration for telling me you are female?


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Originally Posted By: Tutor Turtle
Quote:
TT. I am female, not that that makes any difference to the pleasure I would have greeting Rev,( who would be shouting "you were wrong"), in the afterlife.


But if you don't believe in the afterlife, why make a statement to this affect.

While awaiting Ellis' reply, let me take a stab at the answer. I think there are actually two answers. Firstly, Ellis, said 'would', not 'will'; but I think we turn to this kind of communication when an argument is sufficiently academic, and where, like it not, there's nothing anyone can do or say to prove whatever the truth may be, nor to change it. Bearing that in mind, we're sometimes wise enough to take a breath, put aside the clever arguments and philosophising, and just be good to each other. smile


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I was making a joke---!!! A pleasantry!!! Some banter!!!

Thank you rede for the coherent explanation regarding the technique of discussing sensitive things without descending into name-calling. As you say, neither side in this discussion can prove the truth of their belief, but we can remain civil, friendly and continue dialogue.

TT --As you used the male pronoun-he- to refer to me in an earlier post I corrected you, as I have found that people prefer to know a person's gender and feel foolish if they do not. Also while my gender may be of absolutely no interest to you (and why should it?) I find it is very important to me.


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Well I don't feel foolish in using he, since I didn't know. And since I now know it has some importance to you, I will bear in mind that fact in future reference to your posts.

I do have a question tho. Why are people so sensitive to what others feel? Wouldn't it be enough to allow anyone to express their thoughts and feelings, just as you would allow yourself to express thoughts and feelings without trying to make it personal?

Where do we lose the scope of generosity to allow freedom of expression without making it inappropriate to do so? Is it when someone decides to make it personal that the rule is made for everyone?
Is dialogue reduced to pleasant truth rather than being direct? I have to say, I never have felt any aggression in any of the posts I have made, and I do believe in letting it all out regardless of personal stresses.
If you try to hold anything back the less clear you are about what you have to say, and then opinions can get emotional and reactive.
Why are people so afraid of their own feelings and especially the feelings of others?


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TT- You leap from claiming the right to be as offensive as you wish , to assuming that others who do not are 'afraid of their own feelings". I think that is not so. A careful reading of my posts will leave you in no doubt as to my feelings on a variety of topics. Civility does not indicate cowardice.

Also- further to the gender thing. The assumption that is usually made is that a poster is male (unless they have a very girly logo). I, for instance, do not know if you are a lady turtle or a gentleman one. This of course does not matter, and whichever I assume, I will be 50% right. So that's all good isn't it, as you don't seem to mind!

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No I don't claim the right to be offensive. I claim the right to recognize (as anyone can) the nature of the being behind the feelings and the language. Sometimes people become passionate about their topics, their beliefs, and some are very direct in their expression.
I have had people call me names and utter obscenities and I have not reacted by doing the same but have offered them the opportunity to express themselves so that they can get beyond the feelings, and to the heart of the matter. But few are willing to go that far. They come to a crashing halt when they hit the emotional walls of egoic stress.
People take offense at topics that are not offensive or intended to be offensive.
People react to subject matter because of association to stress in their nervous system.
Relative truths sometimes trigger sensitivity in those who have an association to words or feelings that make them uncomfortable.
Choice or free will to react is within the power of each individual. Yet those who would argue that someone can reach inside of them and flip the switches to their emotions insist that he or she made them angry, this or that made them angry, because they aren't taking responsibility for their power of observance or their intelligence to be objective. Intelligence often gives way to emotional puppet strings.
Everything becomes subjective and censorship becomes a way of life so that everyone that lives subjectively can no longer be disturbed.
We lock our doors, put up fences and hide out from any possible threat, hoping that the powers that be will protect us from any threats, and I'm not talking physical fences or doors.

Just yesterday I saw a little boy rushing toward the door of a store with his mother behind him. The boy fell down and started crying. Immediately the mother picked up the hand of the boy and started kissing it over and over while saying, "Think of the chocolate chip cookie, think of the chocolate chip cookie.."
While she was doing this she was looking at me in total embarrassment of the situation. She was uncomfortable, not because she thought the child was hurt, he wasn't, he was more surprised by it all than he was damaged, in fact he got right back on his feet and bolted for the store entrance.
Parents tell their crying kids to shoosh, stop crying, or I'll give you something to cry about and they do this because they are uncomfortable with it. Expression is something they are uncomfortable with and they teach their children to be uncomfortable.
Boys don't cry and girls don't fight, these were the rules I was brought up on. Boys were meant to be men and women subservient.

Psychologically humans live in fear of making mistakes, because when they did in school and in front of their peers, they were criticized or laughed at.

Show me where I have been offensive.


Regarding the gender thing. I made the reference to the name Ellis which I did associate as male. My mistake, and your right I don't mind whether you think I'm either male or female.
I'm not insecure about people making mistakes or projecting, and I don't need to be validated for what I already experience.

Since were on the subject of reincarnation lets talk about what creates and how energy has an effect or cause has effect.

Here's an excerpt from 'The Second Coming of Christ" The Ressurrection of the Christ Within You by Paramahansa Yogananda
"Take heed ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven"--Mathew 18:10

"Take care that you do not disdain the simple, humble consciousness of children. Cosmic Vibration, which I feel within me, and the heavenly Cosmic Light, which I behold within me, reveal that astral bodies of children, 'their angels,' who passed on from the earth with no free-will opportunity to acquire wisdom get a chance between incarnations with their simple unworldly consciousness to behold the materialized form of any being or saint in whose face shines the consciousness of God the Father."

"Angels" here refers to the astral bodies or luminous forms of nineteen elements in which souls with the past karmic patterns remain encased after death."
The "Father which is in heaven" signifies the presence of God in the transcendental realm behind the astral light of the finer
causal light of wisdom.
A person identified with his physical body and its material surroundings cannot see that the whole world is light and not matter, and thus cannot be conscious of the underlying presence of God. Saints who through meditation have awakened the superconsciousness can perceive the Heavenly Father hidden behind and transcendent within His dream vibrations of light and consciousness. Also blessed to glimpse the "face of my Father" are children with pure consciousness who die before becoming fully identified with the material body and the sensory consciousness with its ignorance-perpetuating karma.


The typical waking state adult has lost the ability to teach their children of God because they do not have an experience of God (their true nature). So adults teach their children to identify with pain and pleasure and to attempt to control the nature of pain and pleasure. Humans have become distracted by their need to protect themselves from pain and to increase pleasure, so that they live in eternal suffering that is the fear of the world around them.
This is the hell that is spoken of in the bible, not some far off pit of fire as some superstitious traditionalists believe exists in an afterlife of oblivion.
We create a momentum of events (effects), by the thoughts we keep inside of us that is the cause to effect. The beliefs of the world and who we are, are the stories that set the stage of life.
The soul doesn't die like the human body dies, and its consciousness doesn't leave its foundation of omniscience to lose itself in thought and experience as the ego does. Our awareness is ultimately pliable enough to become aware of physical reality and the reality of transcendent being.

The ego identifies with its clothing, yet we can change our clothes easily without being damaged. The soul however in its immersion into the ego takes with it the memories and the identification of the clothes it wears continually treading the path of identification with the physical rather than the eternal, passing from one thought to another without stepping back to become aware of itself.
Only when one stops and turns the attention away from the external senses and habits of belief in the physical body and its feelings does one become witness to the soul and God within everything.
Until then everything is separate, a possible threat, and people become victim to themselves and to God.


The golden rule is meant to be applied in vision to God in everything. Instead the ego applies it according to personal beliefs. I will treat you as I would have you treat me to leave all my illusions and fears intact and undisturbed, and my desires of the ego satisfied.
To the enlightened this means having the blind follow the blind and is not True compassion.

Namaste means I recognize the God in you. In that vain the Golden rule is, that one speaks from God to God and illusions are cut away with the sword of compassion and wisdom.

Gen 27:40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.


And as to the attachment of the body and of the love that binds one to flesh.
Luke 12:51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:

52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

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TT wrote...Show me where I have been offensive.

You haven't. I carefully said that giving people the right to be offensive does not lead to more courageous behaviour. As you admit in your post above people have sometimes replied to you with abuse, taking your perceived offence as permission to be abusive back, a common result, and one which, as you have discovered, precludes further discussion. That is a shame as everyone has a right to be listened to.


TT wrote:
Namaste means I recognize the God in you. In that vain (vein) the Golden rule is, that one speaks from God to God and illusions are cut away with the sword of compassion and wisdom.

I confess to having absolutely no idea what this bit means. I had thought that the Golden Rule is --Treat others as you would have them treat you-- which actually is what I am saying in the rest of this post.


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Quote:

You haven't. I carefully said that giving people the right to be offensive does not lead to more courageous behaviour.

No, actually you said. and I quote:
Quote:
TT- You leap from claiming the right to be as offensive as you wish...
Which I never implied or claimed.
Quote:
As you admit in your post above people have sometimes replied to you with abuse, taking your perceived offence as permission to be abusive back, a common result, and one which, as you have discovered, precludes further discussion.

It doesn't preclude further discussion it only slows things down while they get lost in their emotions. Eventually they either come to their senses or just decide they do not want to talk to me about the subject because it can't be manipulated in the direction they want it to go.
Everyone does have the right to express but it does not mean they have the right to be heard. The result of separation means that people have their own agenda and if that agenda doesn't like anything that doesn't meet the terms of that agenda, then there is no right to demanding someone listen to you. It should be commonly accepted that one be objective enough to allow freedom of expression without someone being invested in what it is that is being said to them.
Abuse is rarely a consequence to acceptance of expression. Generally one becomes abusive when someone or something threatens their freedom of expression and belief. And for someone whose beliefs are as stable as a house of cards, it doesn't take much to upset their fragile sense of self worth.
Those that have become abusive have become sensitized to the boundaries that they believe have been put onto them by the experiences of the past.
People with psychosis are stressed and frustrated with their experience of relationship, and it usually has begun early in childhood.
Quote:

TT wrote:
Namaste means I recognize the God in you. In that vain (vein) the Golden rule is, that one speaks from God to God and illusions are cut away with the sword of compassion and wisdom.

I confess to having absolutely no idea what this bit means. I had thought that the Golden Rule is --Treat others as you would have them treat you-- which actually is what I am saying in the rest of this post.

Yeah, well when Joseph Campbell said, "Follow your bliss" a lot of people thought it meant do what makes you happy. But what do people really want?
Happiness for most is temporary. Relationships, money, things of relative values, lose their luster after time and the search is on for something different.
True happiness comes from the expansion of consciousness where life is appreciated at deeper levels of comprehension and boredom doesn't creep in to corrode the shiny things we attach ourselves to.
What Joseph Campbell really meant was expand your consciousness permanently rather than temporarily, and then again, and again, and again, ad infinitum...
One would have to see the God within themselves to recognize it in another, and the highest one could hold another in is their highest relationship to God.

If you were suffering from a lack of self worth and feared any sign that was pointing to your inferiority even if it were imagined, you might treat others as if they were as paranoid as you were.
Compassion from the standpoint of an adult when dealing with the inexperience of a child is to raise their level of understanding so that they do not fall into the same illusion or hole as they did when they were struggling with the unknown.

The Golden rule was meant to lead one to the highest comprehension of themselves, and that same comprehensive being that is in everyone, The Sons and Daughters of God, equality at the level of the absolute and the soul.
Obviously there are different levels of conscious awareness and levels of perception where one would not treat the ego and its illusions with more illusions.

A simple example is that you would not treat a child with goo goo language in hope that it would treat you the same way. As a responsible adult you would treat a child like it was a real human being with the capacity to realize truth and reality, even if it destroys their illusions of fantasy.( by the way this does not mean taking the imagination out of children, it just means you don't lie to them because you believe they don't have the capacity to understand you)
As such if you become a grown up amongst grown ups. Your psychological approach may be more than their ego will accept and as such they will feel threatened and retaliate with the idea that they are being attacked.

1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
This passage actually has to do with evolving from an adult with no spiritual knowledge of the Self/Soul, to Self realization or enlightenment.
In the science of Yoga, or Union of spirit and the manifest, the most gracious thing one can do for someone who lives in a dream is to help them wake up rather than to let them sleep for the duration of their physical lifetime.
If they refuse to awaken then you walk away, but the wisdom of true compassion is not to join one in their suffering when you can see they are suffering from illusions, but to offer them a way out of their suffering.
Generally speaking this invariably gets the ego going and creates emotional expression.


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ABOUT THE GOLDEN RULE--with DAVID KEATING
http://www.goldenruleradical.org/

I have met David Keating and heard him speak, twice. Basically, good stuff. His work is recommended by www.pathwayschurch.ca and by the Family Life Foundation, www.flfcanada.com


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Nice Golden Rule video Rev, though I would not include the American oath thing myself as it includes a reference to the Creator. I think the only one to do so. Isn't it amazing that since humans have been able to communicate philosophical thoughts this one idea has had such resonance. It really must seriously mean something basic for all of us. Well, I can hope so!

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The reference to the creator or to God, has a rather huge resonance also.
I think psychologically it becomes more tangible to try and create a harmony within the group idea because everyone desires happiness. In fact that is the basic desire of all humans, to be happy. All relationships are needed to be happy, money is needed to be happy, health is needed to be happy, material things are needed to be happy. Or at least this is the idea when it comes to desire and the fulfillment of desire.
God may not be so easily encapsulated in the thoughts of desire and happiness because of the whole subservient and punishment thing. But God has played a huge role in the history of this planet.
So I would imagine that in the imaginings of most, that to be happy, one would need to include a God that would fit into the whole happiness scheme of things. After all why create a rule if there is no need for the rule. Obviously if there were a God of happiness, there would be a built in tendency to act according to the nature of God's desire to be perfectly happy.
Relatively speaking, to the needs of sensory fulfillment, happiness is the number one thing to the living, and it is projected into the afterlife since humans have no idea what life is like, after life...
Must be the same with the needs etc.

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TT The point about leaving out god in this context is that the quotes are describing a human characteristic and range through recorded history. They also encompass many cultures whose religious beliefs differ. But this idea has evolved without the intervention of a deity, or the need to believe in one, because it speaks to us all. Whilst the idea of including reference to a Creator may have resonance for many, it is not universal, and so its message , in this context may be blunted. ( Since you brought this up I would like to say that I also have issue with the concept of the 'pursuit' of happiness as a goal for life. "Whatever turns you on" does not seem to me to be a very sound foundation for nation-building, more a suggestion for hedonistic fun--- but it is a great tag-line!)

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Regardless of religious beliefs, God is the very thing that binds humanity together. That religion or beliefs in God turn people on or off is due to the associative ideas about what God is or isn't.

Over 90% of humanity believes in some sort of God or God presence, never mind that the idea varies mildly or in extremes. Resonance is resonance, there is an underlying spiritual connection in Humanity and it is that connection, that spirituality of humanity, that has created religion.

The golden rule could not apply if we were not equal somehow or some way. Just to say we are human is not enough, for the human ego is not what binds us together, it is something far greater and less destructive than the ego.
The ego might want to treat another well enough but it does it not because it is its nature, the ego gives love to get love. The ego sets conditions.The ego creates differences in humanity and it measures itself against personal agendas and judgment of others. To the ego the golden rule is subjective, it is something that fits into the personal box. If the ego feels violated it does not treat another as it wants to be treated it treats another as it has perceived it has been treated, to get revenge and to obtain satisfaction for something it believes has been taken.
What there is in humanity that gives without conditions is spirit or the heart of humanity, and it makes no conditions of another when it gives. It gives because it expands naturally when it gives even if it gets nothing in return.

Getting to the happiness thing; That is what the ego is all about. Getting something for its efforts.
Most desires are based on fulfillment. But what is relative that is always fulfilling and creates more joy in ones life as one lives?

Who is full enough of love to give love without having to ask for it. Who loves without any conditions?
A dog has more of a capacity and a tendency to give love unconditionally than most humans are willing to.

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Quote:
A dog has more of a capacity and a tendency to give love unconditionally than most humans are willing to.
Are you serious? What is the evidence that pets--dogs or cats, etc--will stay with and serve, and forgive, with good will, an abusive owner?

BTW, I would not blame any animal who bit or walked away from an abusive owner.

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Have you never owned a dog?

Quote:
I would not blame any animal who bit or walked away from an abusive owner.

Of course you wouldn't but then you don't think like a dog. You think like a human, with judgment, feelings, and an ego all intact.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070817223354AAEOL6x
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071222172514AArEaAd
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070728143248AAkacwc
http://www.physorg.com/news5011.html

By the way, I only put the links there because you seem to be a deterministic kind of person, who believes in facts to back up what you call truth and reality.
Tho these links may not be scientific or should I say established as a rule. I think most dog owners know that dogs give much more than they often receive from their owners.

They don't judge, they don't think about what they do or don't like, and forgiveness for a dog is not an issue, for a dog doesn't live in the past.
This does not mean a dog cannot be conditioned to respond to stimulus. If you beat a dog enough times it will associate your presence with pain as it becomes part of its system of neural imprinting, but it will not wait in anticipation for its next beating as would a human in the same situation.

The closest humans get to living in innocence similar to the way animals do, is when they are children and do not drag the preconceptions that adults do regarding possibility or probability.


Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples, "These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom."
They said to him, "Shall we then, as children, enter the kingdom?"
Jesus said to them, "When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom."

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I ADMIT, THE FOLLOWING IS A VERBOSE POST:
========================================
Erich From, in his book, Man For Himself (1947), wrote: "Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve." Here are some of the problem-solvers:

PAVLOV--his life and research.
About his great experiments, for which he won the Nobel Prize (physiology and neurology) in 1904. BTW, I think he was a devout Orthodox Christian.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Pavlov
==========
Quote:
Ivan Pavlov was born in Ryazan, Russia. He began his higher education as a student at the Ryazan Ecclesiastical Seminary, but then dropped out and enrolled in the University of Saint Petersburg to study the natural sciences. He received his doctorate in 1879.

In the 1890s, Pavlov was investigating the gastric function of dogs by externalizing a salivary gland so he could collect, measure and analyze the saliva and what response it had to food under different conditions. He noticed that the dogs tended to salivate before food coated with chili powder was actually delivered to their mouths, and set out to investigate this "psychic secretion", as he called it....

===========
Legacy

Pavlov's term "conditional reflex" ("условный рефлекс") was mistranslated from the Russian as "conditioned reflex", and other scientists reading his work concluded that since such reflexes were conditioned, they must be produced by a process called conditioning. As Pavlov's work became known in the West, particularly through the writings of John B. Watson, the idea of "conditioning" as an automatic form of learning became a key concept in the developing specialism of comparative psychology, and the general approach to psychology that underlay it, behaviorism. The British philosopher Bertrand Russell was an enthusiastic advocate of the importance of Pavlov's work for philosophy of mind.

Pavlov's research on conditional reflexes greatly influenced not only science, but also popular culture. The phrase "Pavlov's dog" is often used to describe someone who merely reacts to a situation rather than use critical thinking. Pavlovian conditioning was a major theme in Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, Brave New World, and also to a large degree in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow.

It is popularly believed that Pavlov always signaled the occurrence of food by ringing a bell. However, his writings record the use of a wide variety of stimuli, including whistles, metronomes, tuning forks, and a range of visual stimuli, in addition to ringing a bell. Catania cast doubt on whether Pavlov ever actually used a bell in his famous experiments. Littman tentatively attributed the popular imagery to Pavlov’s contemporaries Vladimir Mikhailovich Bekhterev and John B. Watson, until Thomas found several references that unambiguously stated Pavlov did, indeed, use a bell.


In my opinion (IMO)--an expression I am fond of using--Pavlov, probably without really being aware of what he had done, helped clarify the fact that we are human beings and not just animal beings devoid of conscious awareness.

Animal beings, dominated by their instincts, their heredity and environment, their somas and psyches, their nature and nurture seem to be incapable of feeling pride, incapable of saying: I think therefore I am; incapable of feeling moral shame and guilt. In short, animals are incapable of being sinners.

While we are capable of being animal-like beings--I am thinking of psychopaths and sociopaths, incapable of making humane and moral choices--most of us are not just animal beings. We are what I like to call pneuma-psychosomatic beings, capable of being humane, or in-humane, capable of being sinners--feeling shame and guilt when we make sinful and immoral choices.

ABOUT DR.THOMAS SZASZ, PSYCHIATRIST
Check out the work of Thomas Szasz--with whom I corresponded, years ago--a very controversial psychiatrist. He vigorously attacked his own profession--especially the analysts and behaviourists--for its failure to point out the need for people, with the help of science, to take personal responsibility for their mental health.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Myth_of_Mental_Illness
=======================================================
DR. KARL MENNINGER--another important name in this whole field--took a similar point of view. Personal repentance-- changing ones thinking--can help people to have better mental health

http://www.drbilllong.com/EvenMoreWords/UnsinningI.html
Quote:
Unsinning I

Bill Long 1/29/05

John Donne, Sin and the 21st Century

In 1973 the world-renowned psychologist Karl Menninger made headlines by writing the book, Whatever Became of Sin?

It might be more accurate to say that he made "sermon headlines" by this title, since I remember countless preachers from those days making reference to Menninger, even though the reaction of the secular press to the book was tepid. Nevertheless, his point was that public discourse about sin, which was so much a part of our nation's heritage, had seemingly fallen out of vogue, and that this probably contributed to a growing sense of personal irresponsibility in the 1960s and early 1970s.

For example (and this is my example), one could hardly imagine Bill Clinton issuing the following proclamation, which actually was issued by Abraham Lincoln:

"It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon."

This kind of sentiment, much less the language, seems out of touch with America. Just to show that I am an equal-opportunity Presidential critic, could one imagine the George Bush of the Presidential debates of 2004, where he couldn't imagine a mistake he had made in the previous four years of governing, saying those bolded words?

Sin in America ...



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TT wrote:
Over 90% of humanity believes in some sort of God or God presence, never mind that the idea varies mildly or in extremes.

In this country the numbers of people putting 'no relgion' on census forms is over 35 %!

Further to the conditioning of humans. It is entirely possible to change behaviour by training. Behaviour modification, using many of the same techniques as animal training can be very successful indeed.

Rev-- The most successful form of conditioning for humans or animals is intermittent reinforcement. It means you do not always reward desired behaviour but do so randomly. It's very effective. It is also, sadly, true that the mere fact of attention from an abuser will be sought by the child, adult or animal being abused as any attention is preferable to being ignored.

We are animals, intelligent ones maybe, but our behaviour and reactions are similar to animals.

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Perhaps we could say that "being ignored" is so painful because it abuses the spirit of the person ignored. It is a form of pneumatological abuse.

Ellis, you comment: "We are animals, intelligent ones maybe, but our behaviour and reactions are similar to animals."

BTW, let come up with list of things which make animals animals, and humans humans. I am most interested in: What makes us humane beings? As are some animals.
============================================================
I will start of by complimenting the animals:
1. Animals do not destroy most of the nutrients of their foods by cooking them.


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Quote:
In this country the numbers of people putting 'no relgion' on census forms is over 35 %!

People are not always aware of their tendency to stereotype, but there are a large number of those who believe in a God who also don't consider themselves religious. I would be one of them. The reflection of God in my experience is more consistent than the thoughts that create any beliefs, being that God is part and parcel to the thoughts and experience.
Quote:

Further to the conditioning of humans. It is entirely possible to change behaviour by training. Behaviour modification, using many of the same techniques as animal training can be very successful indeed.
This is true particularly those humans who are less than cognizant of their relationship with the world. However, just as hypnosis requires the consent or availability of the mind in the acceptance of simple ideas, not all are so easily programmed by suggestive commands.
Animals do not have the ability to make the choice to evolve or devolve within their lifetime as humans do. This sets humans apart from the lower animal species.


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COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS
=================================
2. Human beings have the conscious ability to make physical, mental and spiritual choices. We can choose to evolve in any number of ways. Though influenced by what drives us, we are not just puppets on the strings of our heredity and our environment--our nature and nurture, eros (sensual love) and philia (intellect to intellect love). We have the power to will to do--to nasty people and in tough circumstances--that which is beautiful, good and true even when we do not feel like doing it it. This agape love.

3. We also have the power to will and to do harm, or evil, to self and others, including animals and the ecology. This is sin.

4. We can choose to repent--changes our minds. The French say, "repense".

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TT- you say that people are reluctant to admit to believing in a god-figure/state of existence or whatever. Why would this be so? I am not talking about any particular religion here, and I must admit I am assuming you (and the others) would not need to worship in a dark secret place for fear of persecution. I am not worried about saying I have no belief in god, why should a sincerely held belief not be acknowledged? I have many whom I know who are devout and caring believers, and a similar number who are still gentle and caring but have no religion. Sometimes I don't know, and I never ask. I have to say it is usually the religious who ask me if I go to church, not the other way round!

So we are discussing sin again Rev!!! I think we, as a society, have made rules against our most worrying instinctive behaviours which we see to be 'sin'. We certainly can make choices (so-called 'correct choices') but so can my dog as he struggles with whether to chase our cat or not. This is not a trivial choice for him. We are about 50/50 between nature and nurture at the moment, but that's a great improvement. Of course human sins can go well beyond the most frenzied imagination of most of us into terrible depravity, but ultimately we have the same choice as my dog. The choice is sometimes very easy to do, but sometimes it is very difficult indeed.

And believe me my little dog does repent! In fact he does repentance very, very well indeed, as do many erring humans. Practice makes perfect I suspect.

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Quote:

TT- you say that people are reluctant to admit to believing in a god-figure/state of existence or whatever. Why would this be so?

No, that is not what I said.
I said, "There are people who believe in God who do not consider themselves religious."
Religion is a word and it applies to those who identify with the word and its connotations.
I would rather focus on God than religion, and they are not the same thing.

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def religion....
3. a cause, principle,etc held to with ardour and faith, something considered to be of supreme importance.

def religious....
2. pious or devout
3. scrupulously and conscientiously faithful.

with these as definitions of 'religious' I cannot understand why there would be any objection to disclosing one's devotion to a belief held with ardour and faith. If the term religious is rejected, what else do you call it?

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Religious
Synonyms 2. reverent. Religious, devout, pious indicate a spirit of reverence toward God. Religious is a general word, applying to whatever pertains to faith or worship: a religious ceremony. Devout indicates a fervent spirit, usually genuine and often independent of outward observances: a deeply devout though unorthodox church member. Pious implies constant attention to, and extreme conformity with, outward observances. It can also suggest sham or hypocrisy: a pious hypocrite. 3. devoted, unswerving, meticulous.

Pious
pi·ous
adj.

1. Having or exhibiting religious reverence; earnestly compliant in the observance of religion; devout. See Synonyms at religious.
2.
1. Marked by conspicuous devoutness: a pious and holy observation.
2. Marked by false devoutness; solemnly hypocritical: a pious fraud.
3. Devotional: pious readings.
4. Professing or exhibiting a strict, traditional sense of virtue and morality; high-minded.
5. Commendable; worthy: a pious effort.

Devotion
de·vo·tion /dɪˈvoʊʃən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-voh-shuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. profound dedication; consecration.
2. earnest attachment to a cause, person, etc.
3. an assignment or appropriation to any purpose, cause, etc.: the devotion of one's wealth and time to scientific advancement.
4. Often, devotions. Ecclesiastical. religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use.

Ardour
ar·dor /ˈɑrdər/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ahr-der] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. great warmth of feeling; fervor; passion: She spoke persuasively and with ardor.
2. intense devotion, eagerness, or enthusiasm; zeal: his well-known ardor for Chinese art.
3. burning heat.

Faith
faith Audio Help /feɪθ/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[feyth] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
—Idiom
9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.

Quote:
with these as definitions of 'religious' I cannot understand why there would be any objection to disclosing one's devotion to a belief held with ardour and faith. If the term religious is rejected, what else do you call it?

With or without those definitions there might not be any objection to disclosing the principles behind ones focus and attention on anything.
Having an objection to disclosure is a personal thing and has nothing to do with the association of the word religion to ones principles of attention in life.

Devotion, ardour and faith, can be applied to anything, a dog, a car, humanity in general.
Beliefs change, and in applying devotion ardour and faith to the whimsical meanderings of the mind as it changes its points of reference in definitions of reality, is not a solid foundation to stand or move outward into creativity in the hopes of establishing anything permanent.
In the definition of faith, it says a system of beliefs such as in Christian faith, Jewish faith or..... and one that is not based on proof. Also the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.

God doesn't make promises, and beliefs that are imagined or founded not in personal experience but an idea, are not much more than superstitious illusions.
As I said there are many who focus on god and not religion. Religion is a word and it has many connotations, not necessarily one that is associated with secrecy or disclosure.

If you wish to call anything associated with the word God,or Faith, as religious and you seek to define God or Faith by the dictionary then God becomes a subject of definitions.
To me, the worship of definitions, or faith in definitions, or love of definitions is not just superstitious belief, but delusional.


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TT - actually I believe, as you do, that too much defining is what causes the schisms that are a feature of churches everywhere. Individuals come to a knowledge of their personal interpretation of god through their own beliefs and faith. Surely a passionately held belief and faith in god is more important to an individual than the dogma of others. I do however hold to my own belief that belief in god is religious

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Again, what is important to someone when it is related to belief, is a changing proposition.
If you can't take it with you then whatever you believe in is only temporary.

Those that experience God within themselves, which is unchanging and impervious to belief, is what great sages have spoken about since man has first come to know God. That God, has remained unchanged for eternity. What has changed, is the ego's projections and labeling based on definitions and beliefs.
The ego is always trying to fit God into an image.
Tho one cannot contain God in any kind of experience, it is possible to experience a reflection of God and one that is a constant within change.


I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!




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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS
=================================
2. Human beings have the conscious ability to make physical, mental and spiritual choices. We can choose to evolve in any number of ways. Though influenced by what drives us, we are not just puppets on the strings of our heredity and our environment--our nature and nurture, eros (sensual love) and philia (intellect to intellect love). We have the power to will to do--to nasty people and in tough circumstances--that which is beautiful, good and true even when we do not feel like doing it it. This agape love.

3. We also have the power to will and to do harm, or evil, to self and others, including animals and the ecology. This is sin.

4. We can choose to repent--that is, we can change our minds by simple act of will. The French say, "repense" (re-think). Animals do not have this ability. They have no sense of guilt,shame, or sin.

5. It also seems to me that animals are incapable of having faith and hope, or agape love, they simply act on how they feel, in the moment.
Note that I have discovered how to re-edit an older post. Simply quote and reply to it, as I have done above.

BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

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How do I pick out a little bit though Rev? Well done with the quote bit, I shall be trying it!

REV wrote: (obviously I am still doing the old way!)
BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

Because I think I understand what you mean by sighted faith, I think this is an interesting observation. Too often faith is given as a reason for unreasonable happenings.


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The heart knows no reason.....


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Originally Posted By: Ellis
How do I pick out a little bit though Rev? Well done with the quote bit, I shall be trying it!

Ellis, once you bring up the whole piece, you can edit it to your heart's content. You can even repent smile for any dumb thing you may have said. And, note the way I am using colour here, within this quote.

REV wrote: (obviously I am still doing the old way!What am I (LGK, or is it Ellis?) doing the old way)

BTW, TT, it is my opinion that while faith can go beyond reason, unlike blind faith, sighted faith does not go contrary to it.

"Because I (Ellis) think I understand what you mean by sighted faith..."
Ellis, by sighted faith I mean faith that is wide open to science and does not take doctrine, or dogma--including those of science--for granted. Blind faith is a blind leap in the dark. Sighted faith is a careful walk in the light (knowledge, experience, etc.) that I have,
BTW, now I will preview this post and send it on.

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Rev.....What a show off!!! COLOUR no less!!! I am impressed.

It was me still plodding the old way, and that was a very badly composed sentence of mine! Very bad grammar indeed. I apologise.

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Originally Posted By: Ellis
"Rev.....What a show off!!! COLOUR no less!!! I am impressed."

Thanks, Ellis. Credit the PNEUMA factor--the source of our human imagination. I think it was Einstein who said: Imagination is more important than knowledge. I will add: No need to apologize for a sincere effort.


Note: RED, YELLOW , & BLUE-- are the three primary colours. They stand for BODY, MIND, & SPIRIT.

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BTW, just a reminder about what I said about COMPARING HUMAN AND ANIMAL BEINGS. Here is the # 1 point I made:
1. Animals do not destroy most of the nutrients of their foods by cooking them.
============
Ellis, you mentioned that your dog does repent, and very well.
Of course! And, to him/her, you are a god. smile Tell him/her to read the second commandment. It is a sin to worship idols. laugh

But seriously, sin is a complex concept. Let me speak only for myself: I sin when I consciously choose to do things which I know will harm others--sins of commission. Often, but not always, this can get me in trouble with the law.

But there is a more subtle kind of sinning, and it is this: I sin when I think about the ways I would like to get revenge against another. There is no law against my wanting to take revenge; but it is a sin. There is strong evidence that this kind of sinning can do serious damage--I call it pneuma-psychosomatic damage--to ones health. Feelings of malice, lust an greed can also lead to serious crimes.

For me, sin is not just going against a bunch of rules and regulations set up by organized religions.

Then there are sins of omission--the kind I do too often. Such sins involve my failure to take action and do the good I know and feel I ought to do--for my neighbour, my community and beyond. I often ask my self: How many people are being hurt, right now, because of my lack of care, concern and action.

This is one of the reasons I like belonging to a fellowship--like a church. A good leader motivates me to do better. Can anyone think of any public institution--schools, hospitals, universities, banks (yes, banks--including food banks--started in temples)--that did not start in a church of some kind? Maybe jails. Even sports activities started out as ways of giving glory to the gods.

Sure I agree that the most socially useful thing one can do is to take care of oneself, physically, mentally and spiritually. Much social damage and cost is the result of people who, for whatever dumb reason, fail to help themselves the good things of life, including total health. But what about the social damage I do because I want more than I need? And when does need become greed?

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Rev-- I do not think that my dog regards me as a god. As a pack animal my dog is part of my pack. This particular little dog is very much a follower. He seeks out a leader amongst dogs and humans. He is great with the submissive behaviour, but is still a confident and non-cringing animal I'm happy to say. I am his boss dog! He is our 4th dog and they have all had different personalities, including a wonderful animal, an alpha male dog, who was the most devoted animal I have ever met. He adored our children, played with them, put up with dreadful indignities from them and made us all feel safe, (easy for him, he was 1/2 staghound!). He was easy to train and was also a pack member in our family--humans were boss.

Forgive this long lead in, I have a point. You ask what is the status of human v animal. There is a temptation to interpret animal behaviour in terms of human behaviour but his is to take an anthropomorphic attitude. The other point of view that I would take is to suggest that the behaviour of animals differs only slightly from humans, if at all. Dogs (pack animals like us) seek a leader, chimps use tools, elephants grieve when their friends die, whales seek to communicate with other whales, often over long distances.... and so on. We are not different in many ways from other mammals... we are warm blooded, we have live young whom we nurture for a long time, we have hair/fur, and so on. There is much more that is similar than different. Our brain is the most advanced in the animal kingdom, and we have used it to maximum effect, but we are a puny creature otherwise.

You see, because I do not believe either that god made me in his/her image, or I was created by some supernatural act, or anything else that gives humanity a special place in the order of things, I do not have to believe I am anything but a natural outcome of life on this planet. I am of the mammalian species-- that's way better than being krill, but who knows, maybe not as useful.

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Ellis, you write: "You see, because I do not believe either that god made me in his/her image ... by some supernatural act..."

Neither do I. And I, too, feel I "am of the mammalian species."

BTW, you mention "my pack". What is it like? My pack is a fellowship of human beings, including my family, who seek to live by the moral, ethical and loving principles which are part of the Golden Rule.







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My immediate 'pack' is my family. We all fit in somewhere I think. Except for the cat...who is convinced everything is for him! Because of the dog's habit of chasing the cat the latter is fed 'up high'. He appreciates this, and each evening I approach, suitably humble, with his meal and drink. He then will graciously allow me to stroke him, and start to eat (or not if I have attempted to slip in some cheap cat-food instead of his preferred top-price stuff). So, like the human pack throughout its history there is room for all sorts here. It is unfortunate that often this is not always acknowledged.

I equate the human 'pack' with anything defined as community or even state. It can encompass a large area as well as small, and for our packs (of whatever size ) to function properly, they require cooperation and goodwill. And maybe it would work better if, like the dog, the chimp and the baboon we were not so seduced by the Alpha animal!

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Ellis, it seems that you think of your human 'pack' as being quite open and inclusive.

However, are there some things which you do exclude? For example, it seems to me that you no longer include yourself as being a pack member of any kind of organized religion, right? Were you at any time involved? If so, what led you to choose otherwise?

"...seduced by the Alpha animal!" What do you mean?

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Rev: No I am not religious, never ever was, and as a child I used to wonder why others were. I have 2 friends from 50 years ago who both are church goers and we are all very fond of each other. I do not jeer at their faith, they do not comment on my disbelief. They, and their families are very much part of my pack. Incidentally one of them married an atheist 45 years ago!

"seduced by the alpha animal"....Have you not studied politics? Of course the history of alpha figures used to be male--- then along came Mrs Thatcher!! Now we have Hillary Clinton. Not all politicians fall into this category, but the combination of charisma and power is as obvious as it is perilous. And we, the public, love it!!

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Not all of we...


I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!




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Right on, TT! generalizations, like half truths, invariably miss the real truth. IMO--an expression I use, frequently, to avoid generalizing--the real and precise truth about anything is so large as to be beyond the grasp of the human brain, even at the genius level.

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Unfortunately 'we' are the public. All of us (avoiding 'we' here) who live in a democracy have to live by the law most acceptable to the majority--(what used to be called the 'masses,' or of you prefer, 'the great unwashed'). We all have an equal vote. 'We' may be a dissenting minority, but all our votes are of equal value, and the public loves a charismatic leader/ situation. If you doubt this look at the top-rating programme on your TV. I'll bet it's not a challenging drama or a mind improving talk on the emergence of contemporary sculpture. It's the same story in politics. We like a leader to charm and entertain us more than we want to be well-governed. We are lucky when the two coincide sometimes.

Of course it's different in a dictatorship, where the Alpha animal has total power and fights like the devil to preserve it.

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Originally Posted By: Revlgking
THIS IS AN EXPERIMENTAL THREAD. LET US SEE HOW IT GOES AND WHERE IT LEADS. IF IT DIES FROM LACK OF RESPONSE, SO BE IT!
=========================================================
Let Us Assume that all who read this post belong to a group of un-born foetuses--children within an hour, or so, of being born.

An angel--bringing us to a momentary consciousness--tells us: "You Are Given A Choice. You Can Choose be Born Into Life With all The Kinds Of Dangers and/or Opportunities Life Can Have In Store, Or You Can Choose Not To Be Born at all. What Do You Choose? Life? Or The Kind of Oblivion from Which You Now Came?

"At Birth you will have no memory that there was ever such a thing as life before, or evidence of life beyond birth. You willd just have to believe in one, or the other, and then make your choice.

"You will get no information about the kind of parents you will have, or about the kind of life there will be in store for you. You will just have to take your chances.

"Given the above, what will you choose? Conscious life. Or life in an unconscious oblivion?"
=========================================================
If you choose to respond, give your choice and then tell us why you make it. To keep new readers in the loop, you will need to refer then to this first post.

I will begin by saying: I choose life. Later I will give you the reasons for my choice.


this is a purely rhetorical question, all of the replies to this question are totally based on experience; that which an unborn lacks.
the human mind is a machine whose functions are to explore, to question, to learn and to search for and obtain experience; the mind of a fetus will certainly choose to continue to exist and gain the experience which it lacks...


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Or we could turn the proposition around and ask---"... if you were on your deathbed and were to be given the opportunity to live a randomly chosen (human) life again would you do so?" This time you would have the advantage of knowing what being alive was like, though not the actual life that you would have to live, ... would you have another go? Is life itself enough, or would it be too challenging? There's a great deal of variation in human existence, perhaps even too much to take such a risk.

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Ellis: "There's a great deal of variation in human existence, perhaps even too much to take such a risk"

Very true. If it's to be completely random, then it's a statistical probably that we'll be born into an environment that's distinctly less comfortable, rather more challenging to the skills of survival, and offers considerably less opportunity for the kind of armchair philosophising that we tend to indulge in here.


"Time is what prevents everything from happening at once" - John Wheeler
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Quote:
Or we could turn the proposition around and ask---"... if you were on your deathbed and were to be given the opportunity to live a randomly chosen (human) life again would you do so?"

People have that opportunity every moment of every day. They make the choices they make according to what they believe is real.
In retrospect upon facing death, one tends to review their choices according to feelings and fear of the unknown future.
Rarely does one embrace life enough to never look back or even toward the unknown future which distracts one from the present moment.
People try to imagine "what if's" when the mind wanders out of the pure potential of being. Until one actually discovers this in themselves they continue to spin the wheel of Samsara, (birth and death) focusing on a past that is no longer here, and a future that never comes while stuck in the limbo of uncertainty and fear.


I was addicted to the Hokey Pokey, but then I turned myself around!!




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Keep in mind: I am RevLGK. I am using my son's, Turner, 'puter:
========================================================
Responding to what I wrote--way back (I have since chaged things to suit the suggestion made by Ellis.)--TT says, "...this is a purely a rhetorical question, all of the replies to this question are totally based on experience; that which an unborn lacks."

Ellis, my question is not rhetorical. That is, it is not one where I imply that I have the answer. It is speculative. This means that I want individuals to answer the question, as individuals.

I like Ellis' suggestion: Let us presume that we are at the point of our current death. If I were to die to day, given the opportunity, would I choose to do live again?

I would, providing I were given the opportunity to build on the kind life--or lives--I have already had.

What about you?

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I apologize: My comments above: "...my question is not rhetorical", should be addressed to BFP, not to Ellis.

Last edited by Revlgking; 07/17/08 05:10 AM.

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Quote:
I like Ellis' suggestion: Let us presume that we are at the point of our current death. If I were to die to day, given the opportunity, would I choose to do live again?

I would, providing I were given the opportunity to build on the kind life--or lives--I have already had.

What about you?


thats a tough question, a part of me says no because of my nihilistic opinions, but what would be the guidelines of your resurrection? would you simply be given an extension of your life, or would you be reborn with the same mind/experiences you hold upon death... if it were an extension; i'd choose to rest in peace... rebirth; it would certainly be interesting to be born with the mind of an adult; how would this mind further develop itself??? would it become mega-intelligent? would it self destruct? would it lose functionality? what kind of fate would it meet? etc etc...

i recall reading someone's short-story on such a scenario(im pretty sure it was on this forum too) what would it feel like to have a highly functional mind but with an immature body?

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Originally Posted By: big fat pig
Quote:
I like Ellis' suggestion: Let us presume that we are at the point of our current death. If I were to die to day, given the opportunity, would I choose to do live again?

I would, providing I were given the opportunity to build on the kind life--or lives--I have already had.

What about you?
That's a tough question! A part of me says no, because of my nihilistic opinions.

BFP, I respect your opinion.

Meanwhile, may I ask: What value is there in believing in nothing? Unless nihilists can produce the evidence that life is meaningless, in my opinion, it is much more fun, challenge and mystery to believe that life is meaningful, and that there is something wonderful beyond this present life.


You ask: "What would be the guidelines of your resurrection?"
I prefer to see it as reincarnation.

BTW, the following may seem like bragging, but I am merely reporting the facts.

I was born into a very poor and unsophisticated family. They were, as I recall, all caring people. But my parents and 6 older siblings had a minimum level of education. Despite this, at a young age, I seemed to have a lot of interests and knowledge which I did not have to learn.

For example, among other things, I could read before I was in grade one. I could draw and paint, well, at a very early age. Though I never had the financial resources to take music lessons, I was very fond of the classics--music, opera and the like--without having to be exposed to it by my elders. On my own, I learned to play the violin.

In High School--grades 7,8,9,10 and 11--I had one teacher. He allowed me, and one other student--a friendly rival for marks--who made the grade, to do grades 7 and 8 in one year. Then, with my teacher's consent, I skipped grade 9 and went on to pass grades 10 and 11 with high enough marks to go one to university.

I could have gone on at 16. However, because I had to have some money to do so, I worked for a year--as grocery clerk and then in the iron ore mines. At 17 I entered university.


You ask: Would you simply be given an extension of your life, or would you be reborn with the same mind/experiences you hold upon death... if it were an extension; i'd choose to rest in peace...

I ask: Do we remember being given any choice this time? No! Then what makes us think it will be any different the next time?

You comment: "Rebirth; it would certainly be interesting to be born with the mind of an adult; how would this mind further develop itself? Would it become mega-intelligent? would it self destruct? would it lose functionality? what kind of fate would it meet? etc etc..."

BFP, In my humble opinion, I feel I was born with what you call, "the mind of an adult". And, believe you me: it has not been all fun and games.


Last edited by Revlgking; 07/18/08 02:52 AM.

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The whole point is that the future existence is to be random. Thus if you feel that your present state is very successful and that this situation is due entirely to your own efforts and you could do it again no matter how the choice eventuated you will choose to come back. (Model -The self believer) So too perhaps, if you feel you had a bad turn this time and are willing to chance another go, maybe as a millionaire this time. (Model- the risk-taker or gambler) Or not! (model- the doubter, or possibly the realist)

Or maybe, like me, you would say---well it's been great, but it's time to say good-bye, and drift off into oblivion after a mostly happy life! Which is what I think I will do anyway! (Model- the non-believer in an afterlife).


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MODEL: THE CREATIVE AND LOVE-BASED ARTIST.
==========================================
ME? I am not entirely self-made.

I think of myself as the end result of a long process of time, involving evolution, including accidents--even tragedies--my family history, the larger community, which included many other individuals, including teachers and friends and a wide variety of circumstances, and, as noted: not all pleasant ones.

However, as I chose to become, and became, more and more spiritually curious and active, and as I put into practice the Golden Rule with others, I slowly began to realize that I can become more and more pneumatologically conscious.

DOCTOR WILLIAM OSLER SPOKE OF THE VALUE OF LIVING IN DAY-TIGHT COMPARTMENTS
Quote:
In the spring of 1871, a young man picked up a book and read twenty-one words which changed his future, and helped him to overcome all his worries--from passing the final examinations to how to he was going to make a living.

His name is “Sir William Osler”. Here are the words he read:

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand”

Forty-two years later, in reveling the secrets of his success, Sir William Osler stated that it was owing to the concept of living in Day-Tight Compartments.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=BIR9VqzRDloC&pg=PT13&lpg=PT13&dq=Dr.+William+Osler,+Day-tight+compartments&source=web&ots=zXsDbBAlL5&sig=NQGxU7Moosw8D0WV-ed9wHoqSls&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result

Decades ago, I choose to do the same. As a result, I began receiving more and more control over what I am psychologically and somatologically. This means that, now, I am not as prone to be the victim of accidents, or of others as I used to be. Like the Now, I could fall on my face tomorrow, but, today, I choose not to.

"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand." - Putt's

The future? Think of an artist standing in front of blank canvas, or a piece of wood or stone ready to be made into a work of art. Or think of a writer--could be a novelist, a poet, a composer, whatever--looking at a blank piece of paper or computer screen. Armed with imagination, technical skills and the creative will, most artists are capable of creating something that can be a joy, forever. This how I look at the future--a work of art, being created in the now.


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PROSTATE. Because of my age, 78, for some time now I have been interested in looking at information about this interesting part of the male anatomy. The following is a start.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostate_cancer
Quote:
... Prostate cancer develops most frequently in men over fifty. This cancer can occur only in men, as the prostate is exclusively of the male reproductive tract.

It is the most common type of cancer in men in the United States, where it is responsible for more male deaths than any other cancer, except lung cancer.
In the UK it is also the second most common cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Around 35,000 men in the UK are diagnosed per year; where around 10,000 die of it.

However, many men who develop prostate cancer never have symptoms, undergo no therapy, and eventually die of other causes. That is because malignant neoplasms of the prostate are, in most cases, slow-growing, and because most of those affected are over 60. Hence they often die of causes unrelated to the prostate cancer, such as heart/circulatory disease, pneumonia, other unconnected cancers, or old age....

Recently, as part of a regular check-up I was diagnosed as having a high PSA. Then I had a needle biopsy. Cancer was found.

Then I had two further tests to see if it had spread. I had a bone scan and a scan of the glands in the pelvic area. I am happy to report that, at this point, I am among the fortunate.

BTW, I also feel that I will be led to have further consultations with the kind of experts, worthy of respect, as to what to do next. I have the feeling that I will be led to the experts I need. Furthermore, I will be guided to make the appropriate and necessary choices. As time goes by, we'll see what those choices will be.

I am under no illusion that I will live forever, at least not in this form. Physically speaking, I accept that I live is a very physical and vulnerable form.

Do I want to live forever?

Yes, but not in this present and physical form.

Now, take a look at what Dr. Machio Kaku says about the possible forms which are out there.

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/mkaku.htm


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