on discussing god and religion

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:45 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
My intuitive/gut reaction to your deeply thoughtful post.

1) Humanity has been 'herded' into a coral ... and the gate has been closed. Serious thinkers are trying to figure out what this unique status ... perhaps unique in all of human history ... means. No one has figured it out yet.


Is this true? Maybe. But in relationship to what particular human interactions in what particular context?

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:2) We live in what you label the "hereafter" ("the beyond the grave"). At the moment we are simply "Being Within Form" ... we are "Being" within a physical body. Our "Being" requires some kind of apparatus for transport in our physical world. Who cares what "Form" our "Being" takes on the other side of this physical reality we currently live in.


No, "here and now" we live in what almost everyone labels the "before the grave" existence. But we know that death is more or less around the corner. And many wonder what that entails. And they wonder about the relationship between before and after the grave. And some [many, most] invent Gods and religions in order that "I" can either be or not be in sync with what they hope and pray that relationship is.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:3) I'm not more partial to the I-Ching ... I remain RC ... simply see the philosophy (for lack of a better word) embodied in the I-Ching at work in the RC religion ...


I-Ching, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Shintu and on and on and on. This is the thread where all of them can speculate on the part where they behave in particular ways on this side of the grave in order to attain the fate that they believe is in store for them on the other side of it.

Then this: What happens [for all practical purposes "out in the world"] when those narratives come into conflict out in a particular world?

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
After observing the universe, ancient Chinese found that the universe is changing every day. Although it changes easily every day, it also has seasonal and annual cycles. From these cycles the unchanging rules are created. However, it's not easy to use the "I-Ching" method to find the unchanging rules from the universe and apply on human activities. That's why some people think I-Ching is easy and some don't.


The RC dogma/doctrine has changed considerably in 2,000 years ... just that the changes were awfully slow in coming ... the RC ruling class has always been unable to find the "pulse" of the universe and "dance" to it in real time. Ditto for all human change/evolution.


Again and again and again...

These "general descriptions" of human interaction will either be brought down to earth or they won't. What particular dogma/doctrine relating to what particular "pulse" as it impacts on what particular "change" in what particular context pertaining to what particular behaviors.

As that relates to any particular individual's belief in God and religion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:10 am

iambiguous wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
My intuitive/gut reaction to your deeply thoughtful post.

1) Humanity has been 'herded' into a coral ... and the gate has been closed. Serious thinkers are trying to figure out what this unique status ... perhaps unique in all of human history ... means. No one has figured it out yet.


Is this true? Maybe. But in relationship to what particular human interactions in what particular context?


It's a metaphor ... simple people understand ... educated people ... not so much ... they demand objective(scientific) proof. Anyone who has observed the metaphor in life ... not on TV ... knows the cattle will placidly stand around in their own shit up to their knees. Seems humans are willing to do the same.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:2) We live in what you label the "hereafter" ("the beyond the grave"). At the moment we are simply "Being Within Form" ... we are "Being" within a physical body. Our "Being" requires some kind of apparatus for transport in our physical world. Who cares what "Form" our "Being" takes on the other side of this physical reality we currently live in.


iambiguous wrote:No, "here and now" we live in what almost everyone labels the "before the grave" existence. But we know that death is more or less around the corner. And many wonder what that entails. And they wonder about the relationship between before and after the grave. And some [many, most] invent Gods and religions in order that "I" can either be or not be in sync with what they hope and pray that relationship is.


OK ... I'm content with agreeing to disagree.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:3) I'm not more partial to the I-Ching ... I remain RC ... simply see the philosophy (for lack of a better word) embodied in the I-Ching at work in the RC religion ...


iambiguous wrote:I-Ching, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Shintu and on and on and on. This is the thread where all of them can speculate on the part where they behave in particular ways on this side of the grave in order to attain the fate that they believe is in store for them on the other side of it.

Then this: What happens [for all practical purposes "out in the world"] when those narratives come into conflict out in a particular world?


Read ... watch the news ... the answer is self evident.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
After observing the universe, ancient Chinese found that the universe is changing every day. Although it changes easily every day, it also has seasonal and annual cycles. From these cycles the unchanging rules are created. However, it's not easy to use the "I-Ching" method to find the unchanging rules from the universe and apply on human activities. That's why some people think I-Ching is easy and some don't.


The RC dogma/doctrine has changed considerably in 2,000 years ... just that the changes were awfully slow in coming ... the RC ruling class has always been unable to find the "pulse" of the universe and "dance" to it in real time. Ditto for all human change/evolution.


iambiguous wrote: Again and again and again

These "general descriptions" of human interaction will either be brought down to earth or they won't. What particular dogma/doctrine relating to what particular "pulse" as it impacts on what particular "change" in what particular context pertaining to what particular behaviors.

As that relates to any particular individual's belief in God and religion.


The planet goes round and round. :D
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 01, 2017 7:22 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
My intuitive/gut reaction to your deeply thoughtful post.

1) Humanity has been 'herded' into a coral ... and the gate has been closed. Serious thinkers are trying to figure out what this unique status ... perhaps unique in all of human history ... means. No one has figured it out yet.


Is this true? Maybe. But in relationship to what particular human interactions in what particular context?


It's a metaphor ... simple people understand ... educated people ... not so much ... they demand objective(scientific) proof. Anyone who has observed the metaphor in life ... not on TV ... knows the cattle will placidly stand around in their own shit up to their knees. Seems humans are willing to do the same.


As I noted above, from my frame of mind this is what I call a "general description" of human interaction. And, relating to religion or not, my first reaction when confronting one is to ask "can you cite particular examples of this?"

Regarding this thread, who are the simple people and who are the [over] educated folks pertaining to the relationship between particular behaviors on this side of the grave and a perceived fate on the other side? And out in what particular corrals?

Can you provide examples from your own life?

And, again, given that there is so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- that which is being offered by the believers either revolves around faith [more or less blind] or arguments that, while embraced "in their head" as true, are not able to be demonstrated as that which all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe in turn.

With science, however, the arguments and the evidence are almost always conveyed more substantively.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:2) We live in what you label the "hereafter" ("the beyond the grave"). At the moment we are simply "Being Within Form" ... we are "Being" within a physical body. Our "Being" requires some kind of apparatus for transport in our physical world. Who cares what "Form" our "Being" takes on the other side of this physical reality we currently live in.


iambiguous wrote:No, "here and now" we live in what almost everyone labels the "before the grave" existence. But we know that death is more or less around the corner. And many wonder what that entails. And they wonder about the relationship between before and after the grave. And some [many, most] invent Gods and religions in order that "I" can either be or not be in sync with what they hope and pray that relationship is.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: OK ... I'm content with agreeing to disagree.


Here of course that is more the rule than the exception. Almost nothing relating to a belief in God and religion is ever really pinned down. My point is merely to suggest that with so very, very much at stake, many will settle for that frame of mind which allows them to experience the least discomforting conclusions: no, we don't just die; yes, there is salvation; yes, God has a final explanation for everything.

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:3) I'm not more partial to the I-Ching ... I remain RC ... simply see the philosophy (for lack of a better word) embodied in the I-Ching at work in the RC religion ...


iambiguous wrote:I-Ching, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Hindu, Shintu and on and on and on. This is the thread where all of them can speculate on the part where they behave in particular ways on this side of the grave in order to attain the fate that they believe is in store for them on the other side of it.

Then this: What happens [for all practical purposes "out in the world"] when those narratives come into conflict out in a particular world?


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: Read ... watch the news ... the answer is self evident.


Depending of course on the particular "self" that is reading and watching it. It seems self-evident to "me" that there are hundreds and hundreds of true believers out there all convinced that how they interpret the news [with or without a belief in God] reflects what is true for "one of us" and what is not true for "all of them".

The rest as they say really is history. And in all the corrals.

At least so far.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Tue May 02, 2017 5:32 am

iambiguous wrote:As I noted above, from my frame of mind this is what I call a "general description" of human interaction.


A "general description" is inherently wrong?


iambiguous wrote:And, relating to religion or not, my first reaction when confronting one is to ask "can you cite particular examples of this?"


The particulars of the French Presidential and South Korean Presidential elections.

iambiguous wrote:Regarding this thread, who are the simple people and who are the [over] educated folks pertaining to the relationship between particular behaviors on this side of the grave and a perceived fate on the other side? And out in what particular corrals?


Visit a church during service on Sunday ... the distinctions are obvious ... especially when observing behavior upon completion of the service.

iambiguous wrote:Can you provide examples from your own life?


About 25 years ago I was pushed ... shoved ... forced ... off the "grid" ... out of the corral. My exit was neither planned, voluntary, desirable, expected etc etc. Despite several later attempts to get back in the corral then existing circumstances prevailed and I remained on the outside ... alone!

For the first 14 years or so I limped along on the crutches of faith ... the RC flavor. About 11 years ago the crutches were knocked out from under me ... I found myself in China with no church ... no public RC rituals ... including Christmas and Easter ... and no RC community to hide among.

Begs the question ... "Has my faith diminished?"

On the contrary ... my RC faith has become even stronger ... seems the dogma, doctrine, rituals and corral were all a hindrance to faith.

In the absence of the "decorations of faith" I've been able to transcend the "walls" of the RC religion and come to understand there is no contradiction between the (un)institutional religion (faith) of the Chinese people and other world religions.

For details:

http://thoughtsofamisfit.weebly.com/

http://pilgrimtom.weebly.com/

iambiguous wrote:And, again, given that there is so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- that which is being offered by the believers either revolves around faith [more or less blind] or arguments that, while embraced "in their head" as true, are not able to be demonstrated as that which all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe in turn.


We don't know ... science can't tell us ... that there is anything at stake ... we have no way of knowing that all persons will end up in the same place. :)

iambiguous wrote:With science, however, the arguments and the evidence are almost always conveyed more substantively.


Science has been a tremendous boost to humanity ... single handedly debunking so many destructive superstitions.

When science is capable of answering all questions the notion of faith will quietly recede into the shadows ... never to be seen again. :D
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 04, 2017 8:14 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
iambiguous wrote:As I noted above, from my frame of mind this is what I call a "general description" of human interaction.


A "general description" is inherently wrong?


I can only note this: Inherently wrong about what particular human interactions in what particular context?

And, in particular, when they come into conflict over value judgements. Either relating to or not relating to God.

The discussion will either go there or it will not.

iambiguous wrote:And, relating to religion or not, my first reaction when confronting one is to ask "can you cite particular examples of this?"


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: The particulars of the French Presidential and South Korean Presidential elections.


How would the reactions of individual men and women here not be profoundly embedded in dasein, conflicting goods and political economy?

And I suspect that the narratives of these individuals will be embedded in turn in all manner of conflicting renditions of God/No God.

iambiguous wrote:Regarding this thread, who are the simple people and who are the [over] educated folks pertaining to the relationship between particular behaviors on this side of the grave and a perceived fate on the other side? And out in what particular corrals?


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: Visit a church during service on Sunday ... the distinctions are obvious ... especially when observing behavior upon completion of the service.


Again, there are any number of folks attending any number of church services -- religious corrals -- who will embrace completely conflicting and contradictory sets of behaviors that they insist will be the price of admission on Judgment Day.

How on earth then is this pertinent to the point that I raise, if not basically to reinforce it all the more?

iambiguous wrote:Can you provide examples from your own life?


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: About 25 years ago I was pushed ... shoved ... forced ... off the "grid" ... out of the corral. My exit was neither planned, voluntary, desirable, expected etc etc. Despite several later attempts to get back in the corral then existing circumstances prevailed and I remained on the outside ... alone!

For the first 14 years or so I limped along on the crutches of faith ... the RC flavor. About 11 years ago the crutches were knocked out from under me ... I found myself in China with no church ... no public RC rituals ... including Christmas and Easter ... and no RC community to hide among.

Begs the question ... "Has my faith diminished?"

On the contrary ... my RC faith has become even stronger ... seems the dogma, doctrine, rituals and corral were all a hindrance to faith.

In the absence of the "decorations of faith" I've been able to transcend the "walls" of the RC religion and come to understand there is no contradiction between the (un)institutional religion (faith) of the Chinese people and other world religions.


Yes, this is a reflection of the particular existential trajectory that your life took. You were embedded in a unique set of experiences and relationships that none of us here is ever likely to have a true understanding of.

What then could we really know about the things that predisposed you to go in one particular direction rather than another? What could you know about ours?

And none of us can possibly fathom what we might be predisposed to instead had those experiences [choices] been very different.

My point then is this:

Over the course of human history there have been thousands upon thousands of human cummunities invested in thousands upon thousands of religious narratives regarding that crucial relationship between before and after the grave.

But here we are, you and I, having had own own unique agglomeration of experiences, of interactions. We both know that death is galloping towards us and our thoughts will necessarily revolve around the question of "what then"?

This: You have your assumptions, I have mine.

My point then is this: that seems to be about as far as it goes. It's all profoundly subjective/subjunctive in that no one is able to actually establish what does in fact happen then. But, in the interim, we are still ever embedded in these ghastly confrontations that revolve around conflicting goods. Around conflicting Gods. Around conflicting renditions of the same God.

Bottom line: As with Phyllo and others, you are able to sustain a frame of mind that [up to a point] comforts and consoles you; I am not.

And then this:

iambiguous wrote:And, again, given that there is so much at stake -- immortality, salvation, divine justice -- that which is being offered by the believers either revolves around faith [more or less blind] or arguments that, while embraced "in their head" as true, are not able to be demonstrated as that which all reasonable men and women are obligated to believe in turn.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: We don't know ... science can't tell us ... that there is anything at stake ... we have no way of knowing that all persons will end up in the same place. :)


That's what you are left with. The rest would seem to revolve around one or another Kierkegaardian leap of faith...or one or another Pascalian wager.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri May 05, 2017 12:01 am

different strokes for different folks ... ain't life grand! :D
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sat May 06, 2017 7:50 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:different strokes for different folks ... ain't life grand! :D


Some folks are able to think themselves into believing that there is a God, some folks are not.

Some folks are able to think themselves into believing there is a way to properly [even philosophically] distinguish moral from immoral behaviors, some folks are not.

Some folks are able to think themselves into believing that there is a way to connect these dots so as to accumulate some measure of comfort and consolation, some folks are not.

Are the folks able to better off?

Sure. And I know this in part because one way or another I was one of them.

And all I can do now then is to come into places like this one and start discussions to see if these folks might yet be able to yank me up out of my own rather abysmal hole. The one that I have thought myself into believing.

This one:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

And then [of course] the part that comes after the grave: oblivion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat May 06, 2017 11:35 pm

iambiguous wrote:This one:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

And then [of course] the part that comes after the grave: oblivion.


ambiguous ... I just read your post ... went for a smoke and the following thoughts popped into my consciousness.

1) I hope you will read your post. Writing a post and reading a post are really quite different tasks ... even when one believes himself/herself to be the author of what is written.

2) I'm 'dead' serious ... 'dead' as in figuratively and literally. It is only when one becomes 'dead' to oneself that one starts to live. Confucius said ... paraphrasing ... "If I hear Dao in the morning I'm content to die in the evening."

3) You ... like almost all people ... are already in the 'grave' ... why concern yourself about the part that comes after the grave.

4) You yearn for resurrection ... in this life.
And all I can do now then is to come into places like this one and start discussions to see if these folks might yet be able to yank me up out of my own rather abysmal hole(grave). The one that I have thought myself into believing.


5) Asking for help is halfway home. Accepting help is the other half. The unborn chick must make an effort to break the egg shell in order to hatch and join the world of the living.

6) Clinging to someone else's history is futile and frustrating ... whether that 'history' be philosophical concepts ... religious dogma ... political shit etc.

7) Each of us is making history every day ... whether we are aware of it or not ... whether we like it or not. We are conditioned to spend our life trying to catch the big fish ... what a waste. Big fish ... small fish makes no difference. Often enough what appears on the surface to be very small fish often turns out to be very big fish. For example, in my Fatima OP ... 3 peasant children ... 2 of which died in early childhood ... turned out to be big fish in the landscape of human history.

8) The future is today ... you are part of some 'story' ... get on the stage and play your part ... with all the muster you can garner.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Jakob » Mon May 08, 2017 4:01 pm

Weve got some video discourses going on here.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=188756&start=750

Not unthinkable to debate a Christian. He must have something to offer philosophically.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby Jakob » Mon May 08, 2017 4:25 pm

i just see my post was added to this thread an not the one I posted it in.... bizarre
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 08, 2017 6:58 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
iambiguous wrote:This one:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.

And then [of course] the part that comes after the grave: oblivion.


ambiguous ... I just read your post ... went for a smoke and the following thoughts popped into my consciousness.

1) I hope you will read your post. Writing a post and reading a post are really quite different tasks ... even when one believes himself/herself to be the author of what is written.

2) I'm 'dead' serious ... 'dead' as in figuratively and literally. It is only when one becomes 'dead' to oneself that one starts to live. Confucius said ... paraphrasing ... "If I hear Dao in the morning I'm content to die in the evening."

3) You ... like almost all people ... are already in the 'grave' ... why concern yourself about the part that comes after the grave.

4) You yearn for resurrection ... in this life.

5) Asking for help is halfway home. Accepting help is the other half. The unborn chick must make an effort to break the egg shell in order to hatch and join the world of the living.

6) Clinging to someone else's history is futile and frustrating ... whether that 'history' be philosophical concepts ... religious dogma ... political shit etc.

7) Each of us is making history every day ... whether we are aware of it or not ... whether we like it or not. We are conditioned to spend our life trying to catch the big fish ... what a waste. Big fish ... small fish makes no difference. Often enough what appears on the surface to be very small fish often turns out to be very big fish. For example, in my Fatima OP ... 3 peasant children ... 2 of which died in early childhood ... turned out to be big fish in the landscape of human history.

8) The future is today ... you are part of some 'story' ... get on the stage and play your part ... with all the muster you can garner.


All of this may well be perceptive. But it does not change the fact that some choose to behave as they do on this side of the grave in order to bring about that which they imagine their fate to be on the other side of the grave. With or without God. But mostly [by far] with.

And you will either intertwine the points that you raise here into that discussion or you won't.

In other words, my "story" revolves around the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as this relates to the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of God and religion.

But the "part" that "I" play here is fractured and fragmented by the manner in which I have come to understand the "self" as an existential contraption evolving over time in a world of contingency, chance and change. At least with respect to these particular relationships.

Why don't you focus your observations on a particular context in which "stories" come to clash. Your own "story" for example. Your own actual behaviors -- challenged by others.

Illustrate your observations by bringing them down to earth. Because, until you do, I am not likely to garner a substantive sense of what you are trying to tell me above.

From my frame of mind it is analogous to a New Age assessment. A psychologism in which the emphasis is entirely too much on subjective/subjunctive reactions. It's all "up there" in a world of words that I am unable to make relevant to my own actual lived life.

How then do you make it relevant to your lived life.

But, again, as that pertains to the thrust of the thread.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Tue May 09, 2017 1:27 am

iambiguous wrote:All of this may well be perceptive. But it does not change the fact that some choose to behave as they do on this side of the grave in order to bring about that which they imagine their fate to be on the other side of the grave. With or without God. But mostly [by far] with.


ambiguous ... this thread is about you ... your thoughts ... your beliefs ... your values

All else is simply 'fuel' that empowers ... energizes ... your pontificating. I try to help where I can but I refuse to be anyone's door mat.

iambiguous wrote:And you will either intertwine the points that you raise here into that discussion or you won't.


Not sure if the above comment is a threat or an invitation. I feel no compunction to intertwine ... integrate ... my thoughts with another person's thoughts. I'm quite content to remain a 'flock of one'.

iambiguous wrote:In other words, my "story" revolves around the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as this relates to the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of God and religion.


There is no "here and now" ... by the time you write the words the universe has moved on ... and changed. There is no "there" ... whether it be before the grave or after.

iambiguous wrote:But the "part" that "I" play here is fractured and fragmented by the manner in which I have come to understand the "self" as an existential contraption evolving over time in a world of contingency, chance and change. At least with respect to these particular relationships.


There is no "I" ... ego is our worst enemy.

iambiguous wrote:Why don't you focus your observations on a particular context in which "stories" come to clash. Your own "story" for example. Your own actual behaviors -- challenged by others.


The above comment summarizes my life for the past 25 years ... I am the loser ... sticking to my story has rendered me "alone in the desert" ... a price I'm willing to pay.

iambiguous wrote:Illustrate your observations by bringing them down to earth. Because, until you do, I am not likely to garner a substantive sense of what you are trying to tell me above.


Have you read the personal experiences I shared in the Fatima OP?

iambiguous wrote:From my frame of mind it is analogous to a New Age assessment. A psychologism in which the emphasis is entirely too much on subjective/subjunctive reactions. It's all "up there" in a world of words that I am unable to make relevant to my own actual lived life.



You are the master of your own "frame of mind". Words ... regardless of the source ... or the potency ... have any impact. OTH ... your personal experience(s) ... the trivial ... seemingly insignificant ... experiences of daily life are key.

iambiguous wrote:How then do you make it relevant to your lived life.


I live spontaneously ... responding daily, hourly, momentarily ... to what happens around me.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 11, 2017 6:07 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
iambiguous wrote:All of this may well be perceptive. But it does not change the fact that some choose to behave as they do on this side of the grave in order to bring about that which they imagine their fate to be on the other side of the grave. With or without God. But mostly [by far] with.


ambiguous ... this thread is about you ... your thoughts ... your beliefs ... your values

All else is simply 'fuel' that empowers ... energizes ... your pontificating. I try to help where I can but I refuse to be anyone's door mat.


I suspect however that just because you have come to conclude that I am using you here as a doormat, it doesn't make it so.

Whatever that even means.

And I invite the thoughts, the beliefs and the values of others here. As they relate to a discussion of God and religion.

You are just like all the rest of us. You are alive "here and now" and you choose particular behaviors in the course of interacting with others from day to day. Behaviors that you would deem to be the right ones. Behaviors that you sift more or less reasonably through a philosophical sieve.

And you either construe right and wrong behaviors here as it pertains to your fate on the other side of the grave or you do not. Most religious folks do tend to connect the dots here. It's a fundamental component of their life...of religion itself. One or another historical and cultural rendition of What Would Jesus Do?

That's just a fact.

iambiguous wrote:And you will either intertwine the points that you raise here into that discussion or you won't.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: Not sure if the above comment is a threat or an invitation. I feel no compunction to intertwine ... integrate ... my thoughts with another person's thoughts. I'm quite content to remain a 'flock of one'.


That's your prerogative.

The thread, however, was created for those who have a belief in God and religion. A belief such that their religious values are integrated into their moral values are integrated into the lives that they live on this side of the grave.

Again, whatever that means "for all practical purposes".

iambiguous wrote:In other words, my "story" revolves around the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of dasein, conflicting goods and political economy as this relates to the manner in which [here and now] I have come to understand the meaning of God and religion.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: There is no "here and now" ... by the time you write the words the universe has moved on ... and changed. There is no "there" ... whether it be before the grave or after.


Right. When we talk about living our lives among others from day to day "here and now" that is "technically" incorrect. And though we know that we are going to die and that "I" either is or is not sustained afterward, it's not correct to talk about what might happen to "I" "there and then".

I'm sorry but what on earth are you talking about?

iambiguous wrote:But the "part" that "I" play here is fractured and fragmented by the manner in which I have come to understand the "self" as an existential contraption evolving over time in a world of contingency, chance and change. At least with respect to these particular relationships.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: There is no "I" ... ego is our worst enemy.


Cite some examples of this from your own life. You live your life and then [existentially] you come to embody a particular set of values. Re dasein from my point of view. Now, from time to time in the course of interacting with others, those values come into conflict. So, in those particular contexts what specifically do you mean by "there is no "I"; and that "the ego is our worst enemy"?

And how is that related to your belief in God?

iambiguous wrote:Why don't you focus your observations on a particular context in which "stories" come to clash. Your own "story" for example. Your own actual behaviors -- challenged by others.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: The above comment summarizes my life for the past 25 years ... I am the loser ... sticking to my story has rendered me "alone in the desert" ... a price I'm willing to pay.


How then does that relate to my own rather precarious situation? I have no way in which to differeniate right from wrong behaviors in my interactions with othes from day to day. Other than as the embodiment of particular shifting political prejudices embedded in the existential contraption that is "I". "I" am entangled instead in my dilemma above. And as death approaches I have no belief in anything other than oblivion.

That's the price I seem unable not to pay.

iambiguous wrote:Illustrate your observations by bringing them down to earth. Because, until you do, I am not likely to garner a substantive sense of what you are trying to tell me above.


pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: Have you read the personal experiences I shared in the Fatima OP?


No. Everything here revolves around the time I am able to allot to any particular post. Bring some of them here and integrate them into the thrust of the thread.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Thu May 11, 2017 6:28 pm

It's the way of the future. Atheism is too tiring, explaining why you don't believe in such and such god is very boring after a while.

Apatheist allows you to say that you don't care if God(s) is real or not. Why would it matter? Nothing changes with belief, so why expend the effort to believe?


Yes, this is another frame of mind that folks are able to think themselves into believing.

But it doesn't change the fact that if God does in fact exist whether you care about that is rather moot.

Now, why do so many folks care instead?

Because, in the course of living their life from day to day, they bump into, among other things, thoughts of death, of morality, of justice. They look around them and think "what on earth does all of this mean?!"

Obviously, a belief in God here allows for considerably more peace of mind [certainty] than for those who figure that morality and justice are, problematically, ever shifting manmade contraptions; and that when we die, that's it.

Few folks after all are able to sustain much apathy about those things.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri May 12, 2017 12:09 am

iambiguous wrote:
pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote: Have you read the personal experiences I shared in the Fatima OP?


No. Everything here revolves around the time I am able to allot to any particular post. Bring some of them here and integrate them into the thrust of the thread.


Why am I willing to share my opinion more publicly now? I have already shared it with some of the people who have crossed my path ... why in these particular circumstances? Who knows? ... Who cares?
"Life is useless ... it's like chasing the wind"
Back to the events of yesterday ... almost immediately after putting down my pen at Mme Vergut’s I get this strong feeling ... it's time to move on ... no dilly dallying ... get your stuff together and 'hit the road'.
I respond to my intuition ... like a child being given explicit instructions from it's mother!
Don't really know what time it is or where I will spend the night ... doesn't seem to bother me at the moment ... all I feel is ... time to move on ... like the television series ..."The Littlest Hobo" ... I'll be moving on ... until tomorrow.
Barely get off the property ... the laneway to the Château is at least 1/2 kilometers long ... and it starts to drizzle ... not a good sign! ... I decide to push on anyway ... what's a little water! ... turned into a lot more than a little water!
Pulled out my rain cover ... a large yellow thing that covers most of me and my backpack ... eventually the rain turned from a little drizzle to a mediocre rain. I found shelter under a tree ... made a tent from my yellow rain thing ... sat there leaning on my backpack ... reasonably comfortable and dry ... as long as I didn't stretch out my legs!
Rained on and off for a while ... a bit of thunder ... no lightening! After a short period of no rain ... less than half an hour ... I'm impatient ... think I have to get to the next village ... still 3-4 kilometers away ... my next caffeine fix!
I head out ... covered with my protective yellow thing. Sure enough ... a couple of hundred meters down the road the rain starts again ... a dark ominous cloud ... now on my left moves directly in front of me ... hmmm ... I think I am going to get wet! Yup! ... Drenched ... no tree for shelter ... my boots, socks and lower pants are drenched! Oh well! I slog along figuring I am wet now ... can't get any worse.
As I approach the village a bit of anxiety creeps in ... what if this is a 'one horse town'?? ... one café?? ... and being Sunday ... it's closed ...Yikes!
Turns out the local café is open ... the door is open as I approach ... what a relief! The people working in the restaurant are very kind ... they bring me to a room in the back where I can sleep on the floor ... large enough room ... probably used for groups on special occasions ... a washroom in the corner ... perfect!
I've had my coffee ... all I want now is some rest ... ideally some sleep! Roll out my bed roll ... put on some dry clothes and lie down. Seems I will be able to dose off ... it's around 7:00 PM ... my normal bed time in Canada ... and I'm not hungry.
About 45 minutes later I hear this familiar voice ... it's Mme Vergut ... what a pleasant surprise! ... I really like Mme Vergut (perhaps more about her later). She says "is that him? ... oh he is sleeping" I get up and lean on my hands. She says that when she asked the lady in the café up front about me ... she thought the answer was that I had a room ... a regular room ... with a bed and all!
She seemed quite surprised to see me sleeping on the floor and also quite genuinely concerned about my welfare. She offered to take me back to her Château ... now imagine that! ... yesterday I wanted to spend an extra day at the Château and I didn't have the courage to ask Mme Vergut ... and here she is asking me to come back and spend another night ... go figure!
Of course I decline ... I am content where I am , despite the fact that sleeping on the floor here is infinitely less comfortable ... and less private ... as I would learn later.
Mme Vergut goes on to explain that she was out with her 3 grandsons for supper and that she was looking for Martial ... to give him back the 30 euros he had left her. She seemed quite disappointed that Martial had left her a large cake, 2 coquilles de St Jacques and 30 euros. See ... I didn't leave her any grief ... only left her a note with my name and address.
She had told me in the car on the way to her place that she did not expect any payment from pilgrims ... such generosity! ... and of course el cheapo here wasn't going to argue!
Mme Vergut insisted that I take the 30 euros and either give them back to Martial or to someone else down the road. I really like Mme Vergut.
I tried to get back to where I was ... almost asleep ... nope ... about a half hour later I decide it is OK to get up and buy a bowl of soup. I only need to walk to the front of the building ... through the kitchen :-) ... of course ... having a cigarette was part of the consideration!
I'm 2-3 meters into the café and who is standing at the bar having a beer? ... Martial! We exchange greetings ... I ask him about wet feet ... No! No! he says ... "my feet are dry ... I found a tree and sat out the rain" ... hmmm .... seems Martial is more patient than me ... or at least much more practical!
I start to tell him about Mme Vergut ... he interrupts and says ... "Oui ... Oui ... she found me and told me the whole story" I would try to give Martial back his 30 euros in the next hour or so ... he refused to accept it ... hmmm ... so now I have progressed from finding cheap accommodations ... zero cost at Mme Vergut’s ... zero cost here at the café ... to where I am ahead 30 euros ... hmmm ... actually the 30 euros may cause some grief ... now I have no idea what to do with it ... in the meantime, the 30 euros are in my pocket. This generosity makes my $100 to the Irishman look paltry.
About an hour later Andre walks in ... haven't seen Andre since Vezelay ... the day I met his wife and daughter Sophie.
Pilgrims, who get along, are always happy to see each other after a few days of being 'out of touch'. Martial had met Andre in Vezelay as well.
We sit together, chat and later eat supper together. 'El cheapo' ... me with my bowl of soup (delicious) and Martial and Andre with a 4 course meal ... they insisted I share their meal ...I politely declined despite the fact that the soup ... some bread and a glass of wine seemed to only whet my appetite ... I would pay for this oopsy ... I wouldn’t have a chance to eat again for 24 hours ...ouch! ... next time
Except for the apple I was given as a gift at the café this morning ... and 3 coffees! (Portuguese lady and my book from Fatima)
Went to bed around 11:00 PM ... slept OK ... on and off ... didn't get up off the floor until 9:30 AM the next morning ... must have slept OK
Back into the café ... learn that Andre and Martial haven't left yet ... sip on my coffee ... smoke my cigarette ... what a treat!
The same nice lady is helping Martial and Andre make arrangements for lodging tonight ... she looks at me and asks ..."et vous?" ... I politely reply that at the moment I have no idea where I will walk today ... I am stuck walking in my shower sandals ... my boots will likely take a day or so to dry. The lady brings out a piece of bread some ham and one of those small packets of butter for Andre ... and Andre is so practical ... as I would learn later today ... I should try harder to be practical more often!
I explain my attitude to Andre ... on previous walks I would most often decide in the morning where I would stop for the day ... and the decision was most of the time based on availability of a 'bed'. On this walk, I am trying something new ... make no plans ... accept whatever comes along . Of course, in my mind I see pleasant outcomes ,,, e.g. a warm bed.
Not so today ... maybe I should go back to the old way ... make sure you have somewhere to eat and a bed to sleep in ... nah! ... been there ... done that!
Reminds me of an ancient Arab saying I heard several years ago ... "Trust in God but tie your camel tight!"
Seems today I am being reminded once again just how practical this expression is!! Oh well! ... I have never been big on 'practicality' ... why change now? The flip side of my 'cockiness' is ... stop whining and griping about having nothing to eat and no place to sleep ... comfortably!
Mr Peauger Jean Luc
4 Rue des Maures
03360 Ainay le Château
Walked about 10 kilometers today. On arrival in the village I learned that not only was the local bar/café open ... the Tabac store and grocery store too! …bonus!
A sign hanging over the café/bar suggested there might be access to internet here ... I start to get excited ... I can check my email ... learn of the response to the writing I posted a few days ago ... wow!
Found Martial at the computer ... hmmm ... seems our paths are destined to keep crossing. Drink my coffee, smoke a few cigarettes and wrote about my meditations/reflections.
Martial leaves ... he seems rushed ... he has another 20 kilometers to walk to where he is supposed to sleep tonight. See it is not always so 'peaceful' to make plans in the morning. Martial is upset that he spent one and one half hours in the café. (I would not see Martial again ... and I would have my own reasons for being upset that I spent a couple of hours in this same café/bar!
Check my emails ... a few new emails ... no response from Ron ... no new postings on the web page and therefore no feedback. Email from Natalie ... the 3 trees.
Remembered my scribbling a ways back about how sometimes our fantasies take us up on the 'wings of an eagle' and than suddenly ... 'splat' ... well what I just described ended in a rather large 'splat'!
Life is useless ... it's like chasing the wind.
In my sad state I ask myself ... what am I doing this for? ... I am not going to write any more ... not even the seemingly exciting new meditations of today concerning the notions of 'time and 'space'.
Now I just want to find a place to sleep ... crawl into bed and sleep this 'feeling' off. The lady at the bar is very kind ... she phones a couple of the places noted in the guide ... 1st place people are away on vacation ...2nd attempt ... room available for 45 euros and this place is a 7 kilometers walk! ... a polite "non merci"
The local grocery store closed while I was dilly dallying with the computer at the café/bar ... yikes!! Now I can't even buy anything to eat ... and there is no restaurant open in this village...
Yikes!! Spent a few hours at the café ... futzing with the scanner ... checking emails ... trying to get some of my notes online
I figure I might as well 'hit the road' and try my luck at the next village ... about 7 kilometers. My feet are really sore ... in part from walking 10 kilometers in my shower sandals ... and in part from the cumulative effect of walking 150 kilometers or so in the past 8 days ... and to make this worse ... it starts to drizzle ... yuk! ... Double YUK!!
I start to think maybe it is better if I spend the night in this village. I have this feeling ... more likely a desperate hope ... that the local church may have an 'overhang' where I can spend the night and not get drenched! ... Maybe freeze to death! ... But at least I will go dry!
I spot a 'caboose' of sorts across the street with several of the local men sitting in it chatting ... think to myself ... maybe I can sleep there.
My lethargic feeling passes quickly ... I start writing again ... I am OK ... why would I think what I am doing would be easy! ... as a matter of fact ... it often occurs to me that the more resistance I confront ... the stronger the likelihood there is merit in what I am doing ... not sure what logic this is based on ... likely my reading about the lives of some of the saints ... like St Francis.
I find the church ... and yes ... it has a small 'overhang' ... I find a public washroom around the corner ... open all night! It’s like this was all planned! oh the mystery of it all sometimes!
Probably around 8:00PM ... no sun and no clock! ... Sitting at the en-trance to the church ... a statue of St Francis over the doorway (another long story)
Been here for a few hours ... came here looking for shelter from the rain ... hoping the church would have an 'overhang' ... it does" ... about 12' by 8' ... enough hopefully to keep me dry all night!
I learned about 4:00 PM there would be no 5 star accommodation tonight ... the 'fruit' of my morning attitude ... 'frowning at people for being practical'.
I've been lamenting for the past couple of hours ... you see not only is there no bed tonight ... there is no food ... nada! ... stores were all closed when I stepped out of the café at 4:00 PM (more later) I looked up at the statue of St Francis and said to myself ... "St Francis ... I don't have the courage to go 'door to door' and beg for something to eat ... you are going to have to help me here"
An hour or so later an 'angel' arrived ... Jean Luc ... he brought me a bowl of hot soup ... a piece of bread ... a glass of wine ... 2 peaches and 2 doughnuts ... what a feast!! ... Soup was delicious. Jean Luc seems to uphold the axiom "those who have the least are often the most generous" Many other people walked by who appeared more affluent ... only Jean Luc came back ... he said he would also give me a few bucks but right now he doesn't have any ... what a generous soul!!
He had no cigarettes so I gave him a few. I am encouraged about the prospects for sleep now ... my stomach won't be nagging me for some-thing to eat! I am also encouraged concerning the condition of mankind ... there are likely lots of people like Jean Luc in this world ....
Jean Luc brings a friend to help him carry my supper
Brings his daughter with him at coffee time ... yup he brings me a coffee an hour or so later ... wow! ... What generosity!!
Perhaps I am a bit of a spectacle! ... not every day some 'foreigner' sleeps at the door of the church!
Wow ... I am almost all caught up with my writing ... only thing left to write about are today's meditations ... not tonight ... dark soon and I have no candles!
June 2, 2004 (I think)
Back again! It’s been about 40 hours since I put down my pen. After retiring my pen for the night, I attempted to retire myself ... put on my jacket, arranged my bed roll and sleeping bag ... tried something new tonight ... I doubled up my bed roll ... figured it would provide more comfort for the heaviest part of my body ... my belly! ... made a pillow with my towel and laid down and made a serious attempt to get to sleep.
A few minutes later my knees were getting cold ... they were lying almost directly on the cement. I had placed my sweatshirt underneath them. Got up and adjusted my bedroll so my knees would have some protection from the cold damp cement.
Back down ... a few minutes later felt the rain on my face ... it was a light drizzle and the wind would blow some rain into my 'shelter'. I looked at the foot of my bedroll and noticed the rain creeping in to the point where my feet would soon be wet ... I changed positions ... crawled back as far as possible ... now leaning directly against the door of the church ... the topography was not so good in this location ... a significant downward slope in the cement ... intentional I suppose to keep the water from running into the church.
While seems the design served this purpose ... it was not amenable to sleeping on! I pulled out the plastic Air Canada bag ... the one they wrapped my backpack in at the Toronto airport ... I'm thankful now that I saved it! Placed it over my sleeping bag ... hoping to save my sleeping bag from getting drenched during the night ... a few minutes later it slipped off my sleeping bag ... oh well! ... some say it is the thought that counts!
Tossed and turned and shifted positions often during the night ... hardly slept. Still drizzling in the morning ... head back to the café/bar for a coffee ... not sure what time it is ... café is open ... it's around 7:30 AM.
Coffee tastes great! ... I contemplate my alternatives for today ... thinking perhaps the fact that it is still raining suggests I should stay in this village another day ... have another go at the scanner again and maybe type my notes ... the computer in the café had the MicroSoft 'Word' icon on the desktop.
Of course, this meant spending another night under the overhang at the church. While all these little details seemed to suggest 'fate' arranged for me to stay here ... the rain ... the access to the internet and the availability of the 'Word' software ... a dry ... quasi dry but cool place to sleep. I’m too tired to walk ... no sleep the night before.
Eventually I decide to 'spurn' fate again and 'hit the road' ... knowing there is a religious place to stay about 17-18 kilometers down the road. I had overheard Martial saying "Oui ma Soeur" the day before when making arrangements for his accommodation. I also knew I should be making arrangements by phone (per instructions in the guide) before leaving ... nope ... I would call when I arrive ... off I go!
The walk is OK for the first few kilometers ... after 5-6 kilometers it quickly becomes difficult. At kilometers 6 or 7 I arrive at another village. Another coffee and I also eat the other 2 croissants ... 2 large croissants! ... I would pay for eating these 3 large croissants in such a short time period!
The guide indicated that one could walk along the canal from this village to the next ... around 10 kilometers. I checked the map and the canal seemed to go in a straight line where as the Camino zigged and zagged as usual. The short distance and the absence of pavement and traffic ap-pealed to me.
My stomach was sore from the croissants!
I checked with the owner of the bar ... wanting to confirm the location of the canal and the 'walk ability'. He informed me that it was not practical to walk along the canal this morning ... with the rain and all my feet would get all wet ... hmmm ... my impractical nature won the day again ... wet grass or not ... I'm walking along the canal!
I would learn to regret this decision as well! ... as I walked along the canal ... my feet got heavier and heavier with every step ... as my boots ... my socks ... and my pants continued to absorb water along the way ... yuk!
A very difficult few hours ... nonetheless I arrive in the village ... I walked the final kilometers or so in my shower sandals. Another first for me in this village ... my first stop when arriving in a village (on all my walks) is the first open bar or café ... anxious for a 'caffeine' fix. Today I would visit the church first ... I wasn't in the mood for prayer and I wasn't in that state where I felt an urge to call on God for help ... nope ... simply went in for a nice quiet and short visit.
Next stop the bar ... see I am still OK!!
An orange juice ... no coffee ... my stomach is still unsettled.
Ask about the Franciscan Sisters location ... learn it is only a few hundred meters away ... a right ... a left ... and then some instructions I didn't understand! I thought about calling first ... nope...
Found it ... rang the doorbell ... a friendly face greeted me ... seemed to understand my condition ... fatigue ... wet ... exhausted! She asked me about calling with notice of my intent ... I replied that I wasn't sure I would arrive here ... the weather (rain) and all. She told me I was fortu-nate ... the person staying the night before had just left (Martial). She goes to retrieve a key and steps outside ... leads me to another building 20 meters away ... opens the door and ushers me in. This place is a 2 bed-room apartment ... heated! ... it is still cool and damp outside ... wow!!
Almost immediately I drum up the courage to ask her if it is OK if I stay 2 nights(didn't want to make the same booboo I did with Mme Vergut et Château Nerveux) Of course, I qualified my request ... "providing no other pilgrim shows up tomorrow."
She looked at me ... hesitated only for a second or 2 and replied ... Oui ... what a relief!!
Found a grocery store ... bought some grub and found my way back to the apartment. Ate a large (very large) bowl of cereal ... Fruits & Fibres ... a piece of bread and jam ... cleaned up my mess and went to bed! ... it is about 5:00PM. Sleep until about 7:00AM the next morning ... whew! ... was I tired!
While I am sipping on my coffee at the café across the street ... too lazy to make my own ... and if I did ... wouldn't smoke in the apartment anyway!
Reflecting on the previous day or so ... find it intriguing that one night I am sleeping outside in the cold and damp ... under a statue of St Francis ... hungry ... I remember looking at the statue of St Francis and saying to myself ... No St Francis ... I don't have the courage to go door to door begging for something to eat. An hour or so later my soup arrives ... Today I am staying in a 2 bedroom heated apartment sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters ... hmmm.
Go and find access to the internet ... check my email ... respond to the people who have sent me mail. Go home to do my laundry and take a shower.
I use 4 locations to do my laundry ... the bathroom sink, the kitchen sink, the bedroom and a wash basin I found in the kitchen. I have to wash everything ... it is so dirty ... damp ... and smelly ... all except my paja-mas(don't know any pilgrim who carries flannelette pajamas ... glad I have mine though ... the nights are cool ... especially "under the stars!"
Forgot to mention the old fashioned washrooms ... the ones that have a place for each foot ... suppose with each foot properly placed ... assume the appropriate squatting position and you will 'hit' the hole. I was never trained properly for their use ... suppose if I wasn't so tired it would be easier ... after walking all day ... feet so sore ... can hardly stand any more ... and now I have to squat and hold my balance during the 'ceremony' ... yuk!
How to keep my pants dry at the same time? Also learned that if you flush the 'thing' while still standing on the 'foot stalls' ... your feet get a nice shower!
Also forgot to mention some behaviour I have seen in the last couple of bars I visited. As people enter ... they shake hands with all the patrons (even strangers like me!) and say 'bonjour'. The ladies often kiss and are kissed on the cheeks ... neat! ... I think to myself ... this behaviour seems to confirm that innate human need 'to belong' ... by shaking hands ... th e individual is saying ... "I belong" ... "you belong" and therefore ... "we belong" ... we are part of this 'community of peoples' and it is good to confirm this 'sense of belonging' often ... hmmm ... very interesting!! ... very impressive!!

"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Sun May 14, 2017 7:56 pm

Yes, this encompasses a particular sequence of experiences that you had and observations that you made in regard to them. And they are not experiences that I have ever had or observations that I have ever made.

But how then would you go about integrating them into a thread that was created in order to explore the extant relationship between behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave and the manner in which you imagine your fate on the other side of the grave. As this relates to morality as this relates to God and religion.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Mon May 15, 2017 2:25 am

iambiguous wrote:Yes, this encompasses a particular sequence of experiences that you had and observations that you made in regard to them. And they are not experiences that I have ever had or observations that I have ever made.

But how then would you go about integrating them into a thread that was created in order to explore the extant relationship between behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave and the manner in which you imagine your fate on the other side of the grave. As this relates to morality as this relates to God and religion.


1) I subscribe to the community who believes experience is superior to knowledge. Apparently Buddha advised his followers that when their personal experiences did not confirm his words ... they were to ignore his words.

and you?


2) I subscribe to the community who believes that every individual is pregnant with enormous potential.


and you?
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 16, 2017 6:11 pm

The Eastern religions [Buddhism, Jainism, some Hindu religions, etc.]...take [the] bull by the horns and face the issue [death] directly at the rational psychological level to deal with it by tuning the relevant neural circuit to strengthen the necessary modulators to deal with the angst. Thus the "Fear of Death" [inhibited as a subliminal angst] is THE Primary Motivator of Religions and other human activities. With the advent of religions to deal with the terrible dilemma, they are exploited and abused by others for various purposes [political control of the masses, social, economics, romance, love, money, etc.] but these are secondary motivators not the primary motivator.


As a general description of the interaction between "I" and death, this seems rather well put.

But who is to really say that, when one attempts to integrate all of the various conflicting reactions to death from a "scientific" and a "philosophical" and a "religious" and a "psychological" frame of mind, the one and only manner in which to truly understand it is able to emerge wholly in sync with Reality.

We just don't know.

There is what we profess to believe about it "self-consciously", and there are all the ways in which that is intertwined in the subconscious and the unconscious frames of mind. And all of the ways that is intertwined with our own unique set of experiences with death.

And clearly religion was invented as the shortcut answer of choice: God.

It's all [ultimately] about Him and His mysterious ways.

And if that works to allay the fear and anxiety, you can simply stop there and be done with it.

But for folks like me there is the problem of reaching that frame of mind. You can't just "will" yourself to believe it. It's not like just flicking on a light switch. After all, how exactly does one go about taking that Kierkegaardian "leap" to God? And while you can place a Pascalian "wager" on Him, is God really fooled?

Instead, folks like me have go out and search for alternative frames of mind; and then figure out a way to integrate them into that which, given the life that I have lived so far, they either do or do not make sense.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Tue May 16, 2017 7:26 pm

pilgrim-seeker_tom wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Yes, this encompasses a particular sequence of experiences that you had and observations that you made in regard to them. And they are not experiences that I have ever had or observations that I have ever made.

But how then would you go about integrating them into a thread that was created in order to explore the extant relationship between behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave and the manner in which you imagine your fate on the other side of the grave. As this relates to morality as this relates to God and religion.


1) I subscribe to the community who believes experience is superior to knowledge. Apparently Buddha advised his followers that when their personal experiences did not confirm his words ... they were to ignore his words.

2) I subscribe to the community who believes that every individual is pregnant with enormous potential.


Okay, but again:

...how then would you go about integrating that into a thread created in order to explore the extant relationship between behaviors that you choose on this side of the grave and the manner in which you imagine your fate on the other side of the grave. As this relates to morality as this relates to God and religion.

What particular experience in what particular context? And how do you go about making that crucial distinction between 1] what you think you know about something "in your head" and 2] your capacity to actually demonstrate that all other rational human beings are obligated to think [to know] the same?

As for the Buddha's advice, let's think about that. If a Buddhist were to speak of abortion one might expect him or her to be more or less in sync with this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_ ... astic_code

And yet the experiences of particular women -- historically, culturally, experientially -- vary in many, many enormously complex and convoluted ways.

So, basically, it seems that the advice of the Buddha above is for all practical purposes not very helpful.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Wed May 17, 2017 1:09 am

Personal Experience

This morning I was leaning out of the window in the stairwell of our apartment building ... having a smoke. My wife doesn't want me to smoke in the apartment. While enjoying my smoke I watched a neighbor giving some food to my wife's chickens, ducks and geese ... 18 in total. I had the opportunity to acknowledge her unsolicited act of kindness ... felt sheepish ... withdrew from the window so she wouldn't know that I saw her. I refused to acknowledge her generosity.

On discussing God and Religion

1) Food ... which is absolutely essential for sustaining human life ... is not made of our hands. Sure some people participate in the process.

2) Very few people offer sincere gratitude for the provision of our necessary bread. Religion(s) promote a personal act of gratitude ... and many people even go through the motions ... as ingrained habit or ritual ... versus a genuine act of gratitude.
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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Thu May 18, 2017 3:40 am

My Personal Experience
This morning I decided to go to KFC for breakfast ... it's the closest I get to the taste of western food. After breakfast, decided to go for a walk on the beach ... the KFC is a few hundred metres from the beach(the ocean).

During the past few years I have come to enjoy walking barefoot along the beach ... reminds me of the poem "Footprints in the Sand". Perhaps it's one of the unknown reasons I'm living in this particular village. I didn't choose to live here ... I piggy backed a whim my wife had about five years ago.

Yesterday I watched two middle aged village men working their small plot of land in their bare feet. Perhaps there is something mysterious about our feet making contact with the ground ... opening a conduit for bidirectional energy flow. The invention of footwear disturbed/disrupted the frequent occurence of this natural phenomenon. Apparently there are antidepressant microbes in the soil. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden ... s-soil.htm

Back to my walk along the beach ... the tide was almost completely in ... the water was unexpectedly comfortable ... got wet up to about my knees. Several times I looked behind me and watched the incoming wave wash my footprints away ... leaving no physical evidence that I had been there ... in that particular spot. The residue of me ... left in my footprint ... didn't disappear ... it was simply swallowed up by this yuge body of water known as the ocean.

Reflected on the notion that the water I was walking in is connected to all the oceans of the planet ... several different names ... one yuge ocean. The essence of this yuge body of water touched me ... the physical me. The essence of me touched this yuge body of water. What mystery this seemingly insignificant event holds within the bosom of this yuge body of water.

"on discussing God and religion"
1) Dipping our feet in a local ocean is a larger event than most people who do it realize. IOW ... how many people reflect on the fact that they are making a personal connection with the 'one' ocean on the planet. Ditto for religion ... when one makes a contact with any particular religion ... a sincere contact ... one is making contact with the 'ONE' ... the somethang all religions have in common. The planet's oceans have several different names ... each name referring to a specific geography. Likewise with religion(s) ... the different names simply reflect different geographies/cultures.

2) This morning the local ocean swallowed the footprints my walking along the beach left behind ... my footprints may have vanished from physical sight ... yet the residue of me left in the footprint didn't vanish ... simply traveled out of sight. Likewise with life ... our physical bodies vanish with decomposition or fire ... yet our essence ... the 'footprint' of our essence ... remains a part of the planet and by extension a part of the universe.

3) This morning the physical me made a connection with the yuge body of water on the planet ... I cannot know the 'totality' of the significance of this event. Likewise ... when one makes a connection with God ... in however trivial a way ... one cannot know the 'totality' of the event.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Fri May 19, 2017 12:06 am

Personal Experience
Yesterday I spent an hour or so walking around my wife's garden. She farms about 6 mu ... the equivalent of one acre. Her garden area is not a single contiguous patch of ground ... rather several separate patches of one mu or so. The patchwork separation of the land is a remnant of the land reforms of 70 years ago. At that time land was given to families based on the size of a family ... the intention being that each family would have enough land to feed their family.

A few individuals who live in our apartment community offered their family land to my wife for a token rental fee. Apparently these people no longer depend on the land to feed their families and they are tired of the hard work required to farm the land. The small patchwork separation of the land precludes the use of modern machinery and equipment ... not that the individual owners could afford such equipment.

For example ... in rural China most peasants still use a single furrow plow ... the use of this rig is rather unique. The plow is not pulled along behind a horse or donkey ... it's pulled by a man walking backwards across the field. Obviously these peasants never had enough land to feed horses or donkeys. What ingenuity! I saw a two person single furrow plow as well. The wife pulls on the front end and the husband guides the rig in the rear ... used for preparing a furrrow for planting peanuts.

The peasants are artists ... they take such care to ensure their field work is 'pretty' ... not my wife ... who is stubbornly independant and lacks the 40-50 years of practical experience. For example ... my wife's rows of corn meander like a snake while her neighbor's rows are straight as an arrow.


On discussing God and religion.
1) Seeds and soil are passive elements when separated ... together they develop a symbiotic relationship. So it is with people and God.

2) The goal of modern farming techniques is to maximize output with optimal efficiency. To achieve this goal man has developed artificial actors ... chemical concoctions ... pesticides, fertilizers ... equipment that attempts to enforce regularity/uniformity. Seeds are planted at exactly the same depth ... with identical space between them ... even seed DNA is re-engineered for optimum and uniform output.

3) So it is with religions ... the goal being to homogenize large communities of individuals for the sake of efficiency in control ... manipulation.

4) So it is with cultures/societies.

5) Despite all the effort ... absolute uniformity/conformity eludes the program's authors.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sun May 21, 2017 4:39 am

Personal Experience

My wife's 'farming' activity this year has lead to some exciting and unusual personal experiences ... with their consequent reflections ... contemplation. This morning I felt the urge to observe her peanut seeds germinating ... a fascinating experience.

1) Today I learned ... as far as observation is the equivalent of learning ... how peanuts germinate and sprout. The peanut seed seems to create a white 'stem' (for lack of a better word) that pushes down into the earth or ... perhaps simply creates an anchor ... that serves to push the peanut to the surface. For many of the seedlings the peanut breaks through the surface of the earth ... intact ... the peanut later opens ... exposing it's two independent halves ... the colour changes to green and leaves start sprouting from the base of where the peanut split into it's two halves. For me, absolutely fascinating ... the only plant I know of that pushes the seed to the surface before sprouting leaves.

2) Observations concerning my wife's corn plants. They sprouted several days ago ... the leaves were about 3-4 inches long. The leaves were full of holes ... and some had the end of the leaves chewed off. I jumped to the conclusion these corn plants were doomed ... they wouldn't grow into mature corn plants because of my wife's strong aversion to pesticides. I was wrong again ... these same plants have recovered and are growing normally. Hmmm!

"On discussing God and Religion"

In the previous post I wrote:

Seeds and soil are passive elements when separated ... together they develop a symbiotic relationship. So it is with people and God.


This morning I witnessed some of that symbiotic relationship.

1) The peanut seed ... the genesis of it's symbiotic relationship with the soil occurs in the ground ... in the dark ... unseen ... dancing alone with the soil. Reminds me of the book "Dark Night of the Soul" by St John of the Cross. According to St John the genesis of our symbiotic relationship with God starts in the dark ... in the unknown ... the unseen ... some part of our being is dancing with God and we're not consciously aware of the dance.

On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings -- oh, happy chance! --

I went forth without being observed. My house being now at rest.

In darkness and secure, By the secret ladder, disguised -- oh, happy chance!--

In darkness and in concealment, My house being now at rest.

In the happy night, In secret, when none saw me.


Writing the above reminds me of something Ambiguous has written about himself many times ... again this morning in another OP:

Now I am entangled in a dilemma that I am really really trying to yank myself up out of.


Perhaps finding a way for "our house to be at rest" and patience ... ergo ... no effort on our part is the answer.

2) The peanut seed splits into it's two halves ... exposing each half to the sun. The sun joins the dance the peanut seed is having with the soil ... the peanut seed turns green ... and tiny leaves begin to sprout. The sun ... the light ... is an integral partner in the growth of the seed plant. Perhaps answers why the sun ... the light ... figures so prominently in many world religions.

3) The corn plants ... it's not over until the fat lady sings. People ... like the young corn shoots ... are full of holes ... a portion of our being has been eaten or chewed off ... not to worry ... there is something within our being that has the power to overcome these 'attacks' and we can grow into a healthy productive life.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby iambiguous » Mon May 22, 2017 6:26 pm

The only consistency in peoples accounts of their gods (almost invariably they claim for their gods the entire world, all of existence) is that they are happy with their gods.

This is all I'll take from another human about gods. That they've found them, that they're now happy.


Well put. And does this not take us to the very heart and the very soul of religion?

With God we get...

* immortality
* salvation
* divine justice
* a moral font
* a denouement
* a teleology

And can there really be a greater source for peace of mind -- happiness -- then to believe that this is true? Is there a secular font that even comes close to it?

But most of the true believers don't stop there:

Gods thus represent a supreme value: namely the unlocked capacity for total selfvaluing, meaning total acceptance of all around a center of love, the strength of which is the measure of ones will.


Think about it. Once you go here with your God and your religion, you find yourself having to translate them into a narrative that becomes applicable to the actual interactions of mere mortals from day to day to day. Into an actual denomination.

In what particular context then is this to be understood? What does it mean existentially to value the self, to embody "a total acceptance around a center of love", to take the measure of one's "will"?

And what happens when others share the same intellectual scaffolding here -- the same "general description" of human interactions with God and religion -- but disagree fiercely regarding what is actually to go on inside it?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: on discussing god and religion

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Tue May 23, 2017 2:46 am

Ambiguous ... it appears personal experience has no place in your search for answers. With this attitude you stand firmly with the crowd ... a crowd that includes almost all of humanity ... almost ... not all. :D

For example, Socrates chose death rather than return to the crowd.

Early European settlers in America thought the indigenous Americans were savages ... this attitude persists to this day.

Yet the spirituality of some of the tribes of indigenous Americans is superior to most forms of spirituality throughout history.

How so?

The culture/traditions of these particular tribes forced their young boys ... about age 14 ... to separate from the crowd ... to leave the village ... to abandon their comfort zone ... and walk out into the wilderness ... the chaos ... all alone ... in search of a purpose for their individual life. The activity was called a "vision quest"

Ambiguous ... are you prepared to separate from the crowd ... abandon all you know ... and walk out into the wilderness ... the chaos ... all alone. From the few of your posts I read I think not. :D

Manifestation of your enormous potential is stymied by clinging to the crowd.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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