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Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:50 pm
by tentative
Ierrellus wrote:The God experience is a realization of being at one with all that exists. That the experience is possible from taking certain drugs does not negate the possibility that the Kingdom is within and is available to anyone.


I think what you are describing is something called enlightment. But like all words, it leaves meaning up to the individual as well as the labels we attach to be consistent (comfortable) with our "truths".

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:32 pm
by Ierrellus
Hi Tent and Arc,
"A rose by any name would smell as sweet." God experience, enlightenment, the "kingdom within" all point to the same thing. See Aldous Huxley's two small books--"Heaven and Hell" and "The Doors of Perception". Written in the 1950s, these books explore the brain/mind's chemical responses to certain drugs. The experience of these responses can certainly be seen as religious or enlightening. Schweitzer also wrote of the kingdom within or heaven available to all. How much more within can one get beyond responses to brain chemistry? To see God as here and now one must see God as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:45 pm
by Ierrellus
Welcome back, Felix.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:58 pm
by phyllo
Ierrellus wrote:Hi Tent and Arc,
"A rose by any name would smell as sweet." God experience, enlightenment, the "kingdom within" all point to the same thing. See Aldous Huxley's two small books--"Heaven and Hell" and "The Doors of Perception". Written in the 1950s, these books explore the brain/mind's chemical responses to certain drugs. The experience of these responses can certainly be seen as religious or enlightening. Schweitzer also wrote of the kingdom within or heaven available to all. How much more within can one get beyond responses to brain chemistry? To see God as here and now one must see God as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations.
It's impossible to know if that is God or not. It could be God or it could be a chemical or mechanical process. It neither provides support/evidence for the existence of God nor does it provide support/evidence against the existence of God.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:23 pm
by Ierrellus
phyllo wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:Hi Tent and Arc,
"A rose by any name would smell as sweet." God experience, enlightenment, the "kingdom within" all point to the same thing. See Aldous Huxley's two small books--"Heaven and Hell" and "The Doors of Perception". Written in the 1950s, these books explore the brain/mind's chemical responses to certain drugs. The experience of these responses can certainly be seen as religious or enlightening. Schweitzer also wrote of the kingdom within or heaven available to all. How much more within can one get beyond responses to brain chemistry? To see God as here and now one must see God as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations.
It's impossible to know if that is God or not. It could be God or it could be a chemical or mechanical process. It neither provides support/evidence for the existence of God nor does it provide support/evidence against the existence of God.

Hi Phyllo,
I'd suggest that it may provide support/evidence for both God's existence and our existence in and of matter. Again, we are back at words trying to describe what is wordless. The experience is the proof of it's reality. No explanatory words can actually confirm or deny a wordless, heartfelt experience. My problem with much that is said in religious debates is that they do not ground their arguments in the natural human experience of evolution, that, in preference for specious metaphysical explanation, such arguments eschew physical reality.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:09 am
by omar
felix dakat wrote:When I first came to this forum, dialog usually centered around a Fundamentalist Evangelical view of Christianity and its detractors. Opinions here now seem to be more diverse, but the discussion less enthusiastic. During the same period my studies of the Bible, Christianity, theology and other subjects have left me more agnostic then I was when I was moderator here. While evidence supports the conclusion that Jesus existed as a historical person, there are multiple irreconcilable theories about his character, identity, teachings, life history and theology. There is little reason to believe that God as defined by classical Orthodoxy exists. Who or what God might be if not the god of theism is a matter of wide speculation. Talk of spirituality without God is equally perplexing. Jesus said "seek and you shall find." This is what I find at this moment. What about you?


I agree with you in your assessment
My thing is that we have evolved. You think about gothic cathedrals in Europe for example, with their trilliums stained glass windows-- there wasn't just an aesthetic reason, but a practical reason in that barely anyone knew how to read.
Religion was in ancient times a way of life, how you lived life. It wasn't a conclusion after a meditation. It was an oral tradition tied to the very identity of your group, tribe, family, language...what else. We don't have that anymore.
Christianity was for centuries just a name placed on a myriad of beliefs. Pagan beliefs were rolled, when possible (who was that? Gregory?) into the umbrella of the name "Christianity".
These are scenarios, lives, I can no longer envision. The world is too small now.

I missed informed discussions. Whether for or against, my problem has been that it seems that belief has become unhinged. Yeah, sure, religion was a way of life based on an oral tradition, but every religion eventually achieved a moment of self reflection when it wrote for itself precepts. I admire Nietzschean religion-- you know the BELIEF on the Overman, The Will to Power, The Eternal Return. Sure, if he had examined himself he might have seen the Lutheran root for a lot of these beliefs.
I don't know. I hope to find more discussions that interest me.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:12 pm
by felix dakat
tentative wrote:Felix,

Just where is here? Quantum mechanics has already established that we are here, there, and here/there at the same time. The rabbit hole get's wider and deeper... Chaos theory has provided hints that there might be order at a level even beyond quantum mechanics, but for now, it's just theory. The point is that if we can't even be sure of "here", what do we really know?

I like the use of the term sacred as opposed to all the various religious labels. I suspect that many, if not all, humans have experienced that sacred moment at some point in their lives. The weight of anectdotal evidence is just too great to ignore. Still, it all remains subjective which means that the arguments and debate will never end until humans accept the notion that their sacred moment is also a moment of privacy with the universe. That seems unlikely any time soon.


I was referring to here in relation to history experienced on the human scale. I appreciate quantum mechanics theoretically as well as it's products, but I don't expereince it directly. Anyway, that's off my point which was that history is like the experience of the sacred is unrepeatable.

The Wiki entry on sacred includes this:

Mircea Eliade outlines that religion should not be interpreted only as 'belief in deities', but as 'experience of the sacred'. He analyses the dialectic of the sacred. {I first encountered the term sacred used this way by Eliade.} The sacred is presented in relation to the profane.The relation between the sacred and the profane is not of opposition, but of complementarity, as the profane is viewed as a hierophany.

French sociologist Émile Durkheim considered the dichotomy between the sacred and the profane to be the central characteristic of religion: "religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden."In Durkheim's theory, the sacred represented the interests of the group, especially unity, which were embodied in sacred group symbols, or totems. The profane, on the other hand, involved mundane individual concerns. Durkheim explicitly stated that the dichotomy sacred/profane was not equivalent to good/evil. The sacred could be good or evil, and the profane could be either as well.


To me, use of the term sacred in this way recognizes the subjective aspect in the experience of event or object that sets it apart from the profane.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:19 pm
by felix dakat
Ierrellus wrote:Hi Tent and Arc,
"A rose by any name would smell as sweet." God experience, enlightenment, the "kingdom within" all point to the same thing. See Aldous Huxley's two small books--"Heaven and Hell" and "The Doors of Perception". Written in the 1950s, these books explore the brain/mind's chemical responses to certain drugs. The experience of these responses can certainly be seen as religious or enlightening. Schweitzer also wrote of the kingdom within or heaven available to all. How much more within can one get beyond responses to brain chemistry? To see God as here and now one must see God as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations.


A cogent argument that has a clear connection to liberal theology.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 4:37 pm
by felix dakat
omar wrote:
felix dakat wrote:I agree with you in your assessment
My thing is that we have evolved. You think about gothic cathedrals in Europe for example, with their trilliums stained glass windows-- there wasn't just an aesthetic reason, but a practical reason in that barely anyone knew how to read.
Religion was in ancient times a way of life, how you lived life. It wasn't a conclusion after a meditation. It was an oral tradition tied to the very identity of your group, tribe, family, language...what else. We don't have that anymore.
Christianity was for centuries just a name placed on a myriad of beliefs. Pagan beliefs were rolled, when possible (who was that? Gregory?) into the umbrella of the name "Christianity".
These are scenarios, lives, I can no longer envision. The world is too small now.

I missed informed discussions. Whether for or against, my problem has been that it seems that belief has become unhinged. Yeah, sure, religion was a way of life based on an oral tradition, but every religion eventually achieved a moment of self reflection when it wrote for itself precepts. I admire Nietzschean religion-- you know the BELIEF on the Overman, The Will to Power, The Eternal Return. Sure, if he had examined himself he might have seen the Lutheran root for a lot of these beliefs.
I don't know. I hope to find more discussions that interest me.


Religion is a human experience. If we expect religion to be any more rational than people are, we're gong to be disappointed. Then again, I meant rationality there as narrowly defined as something that can be argued coherently for. Depth psychology and now neuro-science supports Blaise Pascal's aphorism that "'The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of... We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart."

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:32 pm
by Ierrellus
The human brain's attempts to achieve homeostasis among diverse body parts may be an inbuilt metaphor for some religious endeavors--the thought of achieving a plenitude of one thing comprised of an ultimate variety of things--the Oneness of all in the physical realm.
In the experience of evolution we are engaged in creative outcomes for human destiny.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:20 pm
by Ierrellus
All mental content begins as biochemical activity.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:29 pm
by felix dakat
Ierrellus wrote:The human brain's attempts to achieve homeostasis among diverse body parts may be an inbuilt metaphor for some religious endeavors--the thought of achieving a plenitude of one thing comprised of an ultimate variety of things--the Oneness of all in the physical realm. In the experience of evolution we are engaged in creative outcomes for human destiny.


I'm not sure about those propositions per se. I imagine you have developed those ideas elsewhere on the board. But, it's true that cognitive science is developing a case for how our embodied point of view forms the basis for how we conceptualize things including metaphors about ultimate reality.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:36 pm
by Ierrellus
felix dakat wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:The human brain's attempts to achieve homeostasis among diverse body parts may be an inbuilt metaphor for some religious endeavors--the thought of achieving a plenitude of one thing comprised of an ultimate variety of things--the Oneness of all in the physical realm. In the experience of evolution we are engaged in creative outcomes for human destiny.


I'm not sure about those propositions per se. I imagine you have developed those ideas elsewhere on the board. But, it's true that cognitive science is developing a case for how our embodied point of view forms the basis for how we conceptualize things including metaphors about ultimate reality.

Thanks. I think cognitive science is on the right track.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:31 pm
by Destiny
Ierrellus wrote:All mental content begins as biochemical activity.


is it really the same?
How come the chemicals become a person?

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:24 pm
by Ierrellus
Destiny wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:All mental content begins as biochemical activity.


is it really the same?
How come the chemicals become a person?

They don't always become a person; they could become a duck or a frog. Being human is a product of specific genetic and memetic evolution.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:41 pm
by Arcturus Descending
Ierrellus,


To see God as here and now one must see God as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations.


But I think that one must first believe in God in order to think that way, Ierrellus. Would you agree or disagree?
There was a time when I *believed* in God so God was the one who acted upon me. I have shed that skin since coming to ILP ~ in other words, ILP has ruined me lol (we sacrifice something to gain something else) albeit I was entertaining strong doubts in the first place.

Now I can state what you say above and change the word "God" to nature.

To see Nature as here and now one must see Nature as reaching humans through their physical realities, not though some abstract, metaphysical speculations. Reminds me of Buber's Ich and Du ~ an I and Thou relationship.


Phyllo,

It's impossible to know if that is God or not. It could be God or it could be a chemical or mechanical process. It neither provides support/evidence for the existence of God nor does it provide support/evidence against the existence of God.


I agree.
It might also be a Designing God's (though a deists's) indirect way of influencing relationship with It.
The outcome is still the same though - it cannot be proven either way. It is our desires and needs which create our personal realities.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:37 pm
by Ierrellus
Arc,
The deterministic trajectories of growth and development of stem cells convinces me that nature cannot be considered fortuitous business.On Natural religion Emily Dickinson ends her poem with "Instead of going to heaven at last/I'm going all along." Thus I opt for a religion that is involved in our natural state as beings that evolved from chemical activity to creatures who can speculate on our place in the universe. That for me is sufficient proof that there is a God Who is involved in all creative processes. Galileo regretted the fact that religions as practiced have little to do the nature of reality as science proposes. So why not espouse a religion that is here and now, hands and feet real?
What causes our desires and needs?

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:38 pm
by Arcturus Descending
tentative wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:The God experience is a realization of being at one with all that exists. That the experience is possible from taking certain drugs does not negate the possibility that the Kingdom is within and is available to anyone.


I think what you are describing is something called enlightment. But like all words, it leaves meaning up to the individual as well as the labels we attach to be consistent (comfortable) with our "truths".


Does *enlightenment* end with the realization of being at one with all that exists or can there be more to it than that?
Is *enlightenment* a passive word? I mean does it end with that *realization* or is there more to follow?
What does the truly enlightened person being infused with that light do next ~ if anything?

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:38 pm
by tentative
Arcturus Descending wrote:
tentative wrote:
Ierrellus wrote:The God experience is a realization of being at one with all that exists. That the experience is possible from taking certain drugs does not negate the possibility that the Kingdom is within and is available to anyone.


I think what you are describing is something called enlightment. But like all words, it leaves meaning up to the individual as well as the labels we attach to be consistent (comfortable) with our "truths".


Does *enlightenment* end with the realization of being at one with all that exists or can there be more to it than that?
Is *enlightenment* a passive word? I mean does it end with that *realization* or is there more to follow?
What does the truly enlightened person being infused with that light do next ~ if anything?


There is an eastern philosophy statement of understanding about the concept of enlightenment.

BEFORE enlightenment: Chopping wood and carrying water.
AFTER enlightenment: Chopping wood and carrying water.

My take on the term is that enlightenment isn't passive. It is being in sync with the "nature" of all that is. Our day-to-day life may not change at all, but HOW we think of it does. It might even change how we choose to live - or not. For me, it isn't about being happy but in finding contentment with who, what, and how I am.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:28 pm
by Arcturus Descending
Hi Tent,

There is an eastern philosophy statement of understanding about the concept of enlightenment.

BEFORE enlightenment: Chopping wood and carrying water.
AFTER enlightenment: Chopping wood and carrying water.


I have always found that statement to be meaningful and wise.

My take on the term is that enlightenment isn't passive. It is being in sync with the "nature" of all that is. Our day-to-day life may not change at all, but HOW we think of it does. It might even change how we choose to live - or not. For me, it isn't about being happy but in finding contentment with who, what, and how I am.


That is what I was getting at. We do not sit surrounded by our numinous laurels and do nothing.

There is another word for enlightenment or a moment of enlightenment. It is a great word. What is it? :-"

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:35 pm
by felix dakat
Arcturus Descending wrote:
There is another word for enlightenment or a moment of enlightenment. It is a great word. What is it? :-"


There's a bunch of 'em. I love the poem in your signature line.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:24 pm
by Ierrellus
I think another good word for enlightenment is atonement--at-one-ment.
Love Blake!!! He taught me much.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:07 pm
by Arcturus Descending
The word, another word for enlightenment which I was speaking about, does not necessarily have to connote a religious or Divine experience per se, but just a moment of enlightenment when some kind of a realization (which is probably the end result of a process) comes to us almost like a light going on beforehand.

That word is Epiphany. I always liked that word.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:04 pm
by felix dakat
Arcturus Descending wrote:The word, another word for enlightenment which I was speaking about, does not necessarily have to connote a religious or Divine experience per se, but just a moment of enlightenment when some kind of a realization (which is probably the end result of a process) comes to us almost like a light going on beforehand.

That word is Epiphany. I always liked that word.


Enlightenment is a metaphor in search of a referent. I usually associate it with the 18th century European philosophical movement including people like Voltaire and Hume.

Re: Status of religion and spirituality forum

PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2018 3:37 pm
by Arcturus Descending
One form or influence of enlightenment is discovering that our first impressions and truths may be completely false.
Remember, lol, in Finding Nemo when Dory and Nemo were heading toward what they *believed*, *assumed*, *took for granted* to be a beautiful awesome Light? What did it turn out to be? A monster.

Enlightenment is not a passive word. If it becomes one, you are dead in the water.