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BrainMeta.com Forum _ Literature, Books, & Movies _ Letter to a Christian Nation - by Sam Harris

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 04:49 PM

I'm currently reading this book and recommend it as it discusses the great danger posed by the religious right in America today.

Instead of being tolerant of faith-based irrationality (i.e., Christianity and Islam), we should clearly recognize that these religions and their dogmas pose a grave danger to our society and should not be tolerated at all. It is time to take an active role in stamping out this ignorance masquerading as knowledge, that calls itself religion. The religious experience itself is a valuable thing, but the religious dogma must be terminated, or we may all suffer the consequences of our inaction.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 25, 2007, 07:54 PM

There are natural poisons which have existed within our midst from the beginning. Some poisons are useful when mixed with other poisons to perform functions to make our lives better, tho in concentrated form may damage the body if in constant close proximity.
If we removed them or tried to remove them rather than understanding them to make them work for us, a great amount of energy would be focused on the fear of the element rather than expanding awareness of its natural tendency to be as a result of the nature of things.

Free will allows the mind to wander into dark thoughts, depression, fear, hatred and violence.
There have been attempts to lobotomize these tendencies in the human brain but they exist within the best of minds. They exist because the nature of thought is open and the ability to make choices exists as part of the human nature.

History has shown that when one extremist attacks another extremist to become the dominant extreme neither wins or loses. The Spanish inquisition and the Crusades are examples of the mind in extreme prejudice. The current war on Terrorism is another extreme in that it is supported by fear on both sides.
These things we fear to be a threat to our sense of being are self created. Fear is a disease of the mind. A disease caused by the lack of awareness in union with the essence of creation and its perceived components.

The things grown from fear are but symptoms of a deeper issue. One that is propogated within the teachings and examples of all leaders of all nations.
Sovereignty, and the threat of loss of freedom.

Action or inaction must come from something other than extremism or from fear.
Dogma/belief or any kind of ignorance is a condition that may or may not be removed.
You cannot make someone follow an idea if it threatens their freedom to make a choice based on their current experience and their belief.
You could surgically remove a cancer from the body but if the cause is not removed it will reappear.

Does the author of your book have a universal understanding of the nature of reality and a natural solution to unnatural occurances, or does it just identify a problem and propose a gloomy ending?

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 09:21 PM

Hi Joesus. I do not believe the author of the book has had deep religious experiences or a universal understanding of the nature of reality. He is an atheist, and a relatively young one, albeit an eloquent writer, and he may have a point that our tolerance of various religious dogmas which preach intolerance and hate may very well be detrimental to our society and may lead to a dire situation, particularly in light of the fact that many of these religions are predicting an apocalypse, with the followers believing in this and actually trying to make it a reality. The question is whether the minds of those comprising society can triumph over their fears, insecurities, and ignorance, or whether there will be an increasing majority that turn to violence and self-destructive tendencies that are so detrimental to society as to effect a catastrophe. If this is the case, then it behooves us to take a more active stance, and not necessarily remain tolerant of religious dogma which is self-destructive and detrimental to society as a whole.

I do not believe my response is born of fear but of something deeper. of a heartfelt desire for the universal mind to fully realize itself, unimpeded, in all its forms.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 25, 2007, 09:34 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 25, 2007, 08:54 PM) *

There are natural poisons which have existed within our midst from the beginning. Some poisons are useful when mixed with other poisons to perform functions to make our lives better, tho in concentrated form may damage the body if in constant close proximity.
If we removed them or tried to remove them rather than understanding them to make them work for us, a great amount of energy would be focused on the fear of the element rather than expanding awareness of its natural tendency to be as a result of the nature of things.

Free will allows the mind to wander into dark thoughts, depression, fear, hatred and violence.
There have been attempts to lobotomize these tendencies in the human brain but they exist within the best of minds. They exist because the nature of thought is open and the ability to make choices exists as part of the human nature.

History has shown that when one extremist attacks another extremist to become the dominant extreme neither wins or loses. The Spanish inquisition and the Crusades are examples of the mind in extreme prejudice. The current war on Terrorism is another extreme in that it is supported by fear on both sides.
These things we fear to be a threat to our sense of being are self created. Fear is a disease of the mind. A disease caused by the lack of awareness in union with the essence of creation and its perceived components.

The things grown from fear are but symptoms of a deeper issue. One that is propogated within the teachings and examples of all leaders of all nations.
Sovereignty, and the threat of loss of freedom.

Action or inaction must come from something other than extremism or from fear.
Dogma/belief or any kind of ignorance is a condition that may or may not be removed.
You cannot make someone follow an idea if it threatens their freedom to make a choice based on their current experience and their belief.
You could surgically remove a cancer from the body but if the cause is not removed it will reappear.

Does the author of your book have a universal understanding of the nature of reality and a natural solution to unnatural occurances, or does it just identify a problem and propose a gloomy ending?


I do not think that changing or eliminating religion would end the worlds problems, some religions give people hope and help them to be less fearful. Though these people might be sheep, they were raised to be sheep by their government, religion just protects the sheep from worrying.

What we need is a change in human thinking, a way of inner peace and open communication. So many problems in this world are caused by not effectivly communicating with people. When I say inner peace I mean a state of mind in which an individual is at peace with themselves. How many people do you know who are happy and can do terrible things to people? This is only possible for psychotics to do, for everyone else, when they are happy, they are nice to people, when they are unhappy they are mean. Happiness will bring peace. Bullies do not become bullies out of thin air, they most likely are abused and neglected at home and take it out on someone else.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 25, 2007, 09:38 PM

The idea in this thread was not eliminating religion, but dogma.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 09:39 PM

another problem is that religious dogma largely attracts individuals from the lower end of the intelligence spectrum. It is one thing to reason amongst ourselves of the utility or lack thereof of religious dogma, and the dangers it presents to society. But try reasoning with your average field worker with an IQ of 85, who unfortunately is oblivious to reason and only understands the dogma he's been indoctrinated in. I'm not trying to be elitist, but am pointing out that the problem may be largely due to low IQ people, since more intelligent people are open to reason.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 25, 2007, 09:42 PM

God loves stupid people too.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 09:44 PM

If Spinoza's Ethics substituted for the Bible and Koran, we would be living in a very different society, a much more enlightened one.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 25, 2007, 09:49 PM

HAHAHAHA

I think the reason for the low IQ thing is that A. They may not believe in a scientific explanation where as higher IQ people may be more prone to believe science. B. There may be a relation between how people are raised, so that high IQ people are raised less on religion and more on intellectual subjects C. They may be more fearful of the things religion address' and more prone to what it offers?

Lets look at it this way, if they are raised to be sheep then they will not try to think for themselves. If they do not think for themselves they will not have a high IQ.

Naturally not all people who have a religion are stupid, in general I think religion just appeals more to the average joe. Men like Aristotle believed in many things that were quite out there, yet he was a brilliant philosopher.

Besides, this could just be a collective consciousness dream and when we die, we just wake up. Or prehaps go to another dream...

Posted by: Joesus Feb 25, 2007, 10:05 PM

QUOTE
Besides, this could just be a collective consciousness dream and when we die, we just wake up. Or prehaps go to another dream...

That would mean you would be more than the collective rememberings of this life experience and be influenced by much more than what you achieved as a result of this life and its experiences. This life experience would possibly be a result of other dreams or life experiences.

It could be that we share the same school yet are enrolled in different classes to suit our growth.

If you wanted to make fun of the underclassmen you could stand in front of the bathroom and charge them a dollar to use it or make them seem inferior because they don't know what you know. Or you could be like a parent and by example live your life the best you can allowing them to do the same.

My Dad was a short tempered bigot/political extremist with a drinking problem. I got to hear his suggestions of how I should live my life.
Now if you take that example and multiply it by a few humdred million you might find a society seeking to find a higher truth and a better example. The idea of universal love can be appealing and if it has to be taken because that is the way it has been done in the past, the idea of using violence to achieve love and peace seems in a twisted way, acceptable.

Any one see the NRA bumper sticker that says, "They can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers."?

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 10:13 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 25, 2007, 09:42 PM) *

God loves stupid people too.


You might enjoy this!
http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com


Posted by: maximus242 Feb 25, 2007, 10:20 PM

Violence only brings more violence. I used to think the way you do, but what you think on grows. If you feed violence then more violence will occur as a result of that, maybe not today, maybe not tommorow but eventually it will come.

If you try to be nice to people, you will find people are nicer to you, if you are mean to people, they will be meaner to you. What you think on grows, what you nurture is what will occur. You are not defined by who you are but by what you do.

As an example, Terrorist attacks have increased since the war began not decreased.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 10:32 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 25, 2007, 10:20 PM) *

Violence only brings more violence. I used to think the way you do, but what you think on grows. If you feed violence then more violence will occur as a result of that, maybe not today, maybe not tommorow but eventually it will come.

Maximus, are you talking to me? I didn't suggest violence. I suggested taking action, and action takes many forms. Violence is self-defeating. What I would suggest is more subtle.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 25, 2007, 10:34 PM

QUOTE
I used to think the way you do

who?

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 25, 2007, 10:46 PM

Talking to Joesus. I know you didnt mean violence Lucid.

I stopped getting upset or angry at people, it is self defeating, being angry hurts yourself more than anyone else.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 25, 2007, 11:09 PM

People often react to adversity by getting angry or sad. If caught between the two, the former is superior. I prefer a third way, of getting aroused towards action, a combination of rajas and sattva.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 12:18 AM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 26, 2007, 06:46 AM) *

Talking to Joesus. I know you didnt mean violence Lucid.

I stopped getting upset or angry at people, it is self defeating, being angry hurts yourself more than anyone else.

I don't advocate violence. I made a reference to violence.
Violence is within everyone who does not see God in everything.
As such those who are violent to themselves and to the world project separation and react accordingly in thought, feeling or action.
One does not have to be physically active to be violent.

QUOTE
People often react to adversity by getting angry or sad. If caught between the two, the former is superior. I prefer a third way, of getting aroused towards action, a combination of rajas and sattva.

Surrender is superior. Surrendering to that which creates everything not to the object/action of perception. From there any action/non-action is taken/given in accord to the evolution of creation.

For example Jesus knew there was an advantage to allow himself to be crucified rather than to sidestep the event.
The repercussions activated a direction in thought feeling and action that was toward expanding spiritual awareness inside of ones self rather than to continue to put it outside of ones self.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 08:59 AM

I have the never give up approach. I dont surrender but I dont use violence either, I do other things and simply remain persistent.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 11:09 AM

Violence is everywhere. We use chemicals to kill microbes.
We dump toxic chemicals into our air and water creating conditions that are not friendly to the earth or our bodies.
Even the sweet little old lady down the street is pouring bug killers on her roses, spreading slug and snail killer in her gardens and toxic ferilizers onto her lawn which leeches into the ground water.

Every step we take we are crushing countless living micro-organisms underfoot.

When using vaccines we introduce bacteria creating a small war in the body to build future armies in the body for the impending possibilities of attack.

In a similar way we interject small amounts of drama into our sense of perception to prepare ourselves for the impending possibilites of destruction.
Books are written, local news is prepared, to sell a dramatic insight into worst case scenarios.

Humanity on a wide scale injects its consciousness with vaccines of intellectual insight into the realms of evil so that we will prepare ourselves for what is real and a threat to love, health life and liberty.

If you drive a car which burns gasoline and dumps carbon monoxide into your environment you are being violent.

Surrender to God on the outside or in Sanskrit "Isvara Pranidhana" is the surrender to the activity that is most beneficial to stabilizing the experience of God in action inside and outside.

If the direction, we as a conscious collective are taking, serves humanity best with its wars, poisons, and dramas, then it is surrendered to with the knowledge that it is raising conscious awareness of the mind to its spirituality. If it isn't then to intervene would be beneficial.

In the past, to serve humanity those who are on a righteous path would give their lives freely for the good of conscious awareness. Once one has achieved conscious awareness the only service left is to live life for others to gain the same status. This could include immersing ones self in the midst of violence to help direct it back to stillness.

The story of Shukradev, the God of Love comes to mind. In the midst of a raging battle Shukradev walks into the middle of the war and sits, radiating love in all directions causing both sides to forget what they were fighting about. Both sides drop their weapons and go home.

Kowing what is serving humanity, one has a clear direction to intervene or not intervene. to take action or not take action.
Persistence is good if it is persistence for the right thing.
The persistence some have to live their lives the way they want to by using harmful chemicals to make life easier for them or to suit their needs, to drive their car even if they know it throws toxins in the air is often not in surrender to their highest good but surrender/capitulation to exasperation and fear that there is no way to make a change or take control because of the conditions the world has in its control over them.
This is not intelligence in action but fear in action. This is a mind on fear and victim consciousness.

Surrender to God cannot come without the experience of God.
Until then any surrender can only be to the mind and its ideas.
Each one, each individual having the individual perspective of what is righteous, and each believing in their own perception, in the persistent pursuit of life as they see fit, will continue to show its signs of its pursuit of personal happiiness at the cost of the earths and our brothers and sisters health.

Surrender is superior because it can only come from the highest state of human conscious awareness.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 12:56 PM

This poses the question of what is violence?

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 01:23 PM

QUOTE
I dont surrender but I dont use violence either

If you don't know, then how could you be against it or sure you don't use it?

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 01:25 PM

I have my own definition via means of my perception of what violence is, I was posing the question, is mine or anyones interpretation of what violence is, an accurate description? or can we go deeper into the nature and definition of violence?

Posted by: Flex Feb 26, 2007, 02:09 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 26, 2007, 01:25 PM) *

I have my own definition via means of my perception of what violence is, I was posing the question, is mine or anyones interpretation of what violence is, an accurate description? or can we go deeper into the nature and definition of violence?


Selfishness and nature are one in the same. With selfishness comes violence.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 02:22 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 26, 2007, 09:25 PM) *

I have my own definition via means of my perception of what violence is, I was posing the question, is mine or anyones interpretation of what violence is, an accurate description? or can we go deeper into the nature and definition of violence?

Would you be so humble as to surrender your perceptions of meaning to something greater than your ego?
To What would that be?

QUOTE
Selfishness and nature are one in the same.

Are they? Nature is constantly giving.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 03:43 PM

QUOTE
Would you be so humble as to surrender your perceptions of meaning to something greater than your ego?
To What would that be?


That would be, understanding. When we let go of our own perception to better understand someone elses, we gain understanding and insight. If one just sticks to how they view the world and cares nothing of learning from others, they will aquire much knowlege but have no understanding of it.

Posted by: Rick Feb 26, 2007, 04:45 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 26, 2007, 12:56 PM) *

This poses the question of what is violence?

Violence is forceful action that does harm. Examples include smashing, breaking, cutting, and burning. Poisoning is a gray area: the poisoner does harm, but it's not forceful.

Posted by: Casey Feb 26, 2007, 05:39 PM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 25, 2007, 11:39 PM) *

religious dogma largely attracts individuals from the lower end of the intelligence spectrum.


Somebody had to say it - glad it wasn't me.

This is the exact reason I believe religion contributes to society as a whole. Religion is not the cause of our woes - human nature is. It is human nature, after all, that invented religion.

Thus, I submit to you:
Those individuals who follow religious dogma are inclined to mindlessly submit to others in general. (Was Hitler's movement a 'religion'?)

And, as we know, religions often confer psychologically protective benefits to those who follow them. (As stated by Karl Marx: "Religion is the opiate of the masses.") As I see it, disadvantaged individuals have found a way to compensate for the difficulties of life and the associated, unexplained phenomena. It seems to be a sort of social evolution. Can we ethically take that away from them?

(And yes, I use religion and dogma interchangeably because I believe one follows the other)

EDIT - please don't be offended by my personal beliefs.

Posted by: Flex Feb 26, 2007, 06:04 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 26, 2007, 02:22 PM) *

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 26, 2007, 09:25 PM) *

I have my own definition via means of my perception of what violence is, I was posing the question, is mine or anyones interpretation of what violence is, an accurate description? or can we go deeper into the nature and definition of violence?

Would you be so humble as to surrender your perceptions of meaning to something greater than your ego?
To What would that be?

QUOTE
Selfishness and nature are one in the same.

Are they? Nature is constantly giving.


Nature is constantly taking.

Posted by: Flex Feb 26, 2007, 06:09 PM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 25, 2007, 11:39 PM) *

religious dogma largely attracts individuals from the lower end of the intelligence spectrum.


I have found religion also attracts the other end of the spectrum as well. I know many very intelligent people who have fallen victim to religious dogma. I do not believe they are truely victims persay, as they use religion as a tool to justify their own immoral acts (particularly Christians). The fact that Jesus "died for our sins" and that God holds our ultimate judgement can be used to justify almost any act, or at the very least relieve any guilt associated with said act.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 06:26 PM

QUOTE
When we let go of our own perception to better understand someone elses, we gain understanding and insight.
We might gain some insight to anothers perception and beliefs but not necessarily the nature of our lives and reality if comparisons are made on a level that is still inadequately approaching Truth as nothing more than a changing belief or an opinion.
QUOTE
If one just sticks to how they view the world and cares nothing of learning from others, they will aquire much knowlege but have no understanding of it.

If one learns from others from the foundation of how they view the world according to their previous mental construct and habit of observation, any comparison is subject to the ability to comprehend according to belief and experience. Making knowledge available is not a guarantee that it is assimilated and understood.

No one is obliged or necessarily inspired to change their way of thinking by observing others or their point of view. They are more likely to compare themselves to another to justify their lives accordingly, possibly integrating what is meaningful according to already established value systems and patterns of identity.

The topic of discussion is critical of dogma, not necessarily an openness to join one who lives by it to learn from it and experience what another thinks and feels while believing in it.

The fear that one might have made a mistake in perception is not something many are willing to admit. If one was to indeed find their perception was incomplete they would most likely doubt any modified perception if there is no authority to base truth on other than personal opinion.
Personal opinions grouped together to strengthen the will and sense of self worth is the same as creating a religion. Something that doesn't stand in its own merit is bound to change.

Truth never changes, if it does, it isn't truth, it's only a thought.

The human spirit is capable of standing clear in and amongst the descending chaos that comes from surrendering ones insight to the crowds in a democratic process of authority if it continues to produce violence and selfishness.

Everytime a great sage inspires us with the presence of Truth all lesser perceptions of reality are easily dropped and the mind opens to receive through innocense and love.
A true sage carries a sword that cuts through ignorance like a hot knife thru butter, but there is no guarantee that God in its infinite light can awaken anyone who will be stubborn for a lesser path than unconditional love and selflessness. Free will allows all ideas of choice to remain without restriction in their own natural conditions.
The ego will never ask for higher guidance or help. Only the heart will see thru ignorance and the heart is often clouded by perceptions of reality that define freedom and love by the material possesions and attachments to objects of change.

Truth is much more than individual perception, It is something that can be percieved equally by any individual and remains stable regardless of the changing mind and beliefs.

Those that experience less than that do not know Truth, they only know their changing thoughts and beliefs.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 07:47 PM

QUOTE
all just IS…NOW

An intellectual approach to define the sense or senseless experience of some thing that is?

Posted by: Joesus Feb 26, 2007, 08:34 PM

QUOTE
what are you using to express your self Joe?

What is using me as the expression of Joe? What is the still stable presence holding the expression in the now?

QUOTE
How can any expression occur without intellect…

It occurs regardless of the intellect. The intellect does not always perceive expression.
Which is why the intellect does not always understand itself without thought.

QUOTE
how can consciousness be without form

How can a dream hold form? How can there not be a single stable source from which everything emerges, a one truth, a reality of a one truth?

QUOTE
how can silence be understood…without sound?

When the sound of intellect is surrendered to the silence and there is only stillness, understanding is united with being.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 10:56 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 26, 2007, 07:26 PM) *

QUOTE
When we let go of our own perception to better understand someone elses, we gain understanding and insight.
We might gain some insight to anothers perception and beliefs but not necessarily the nature of our lives and reality if comparisons are made on a level that is still inadequately approaching Truth as nothing more than a changing belief or an opinion.
QUOTE
If one just sticks to how they view the world and cares nothing of learning from others, they will aquire much knowlege but have no understanding of it.

If one learns from others from the foundation of how they view the world according to their previous mental construct and habit of observation, any comparison is subject to the ability to comprehend according to belief and experience. Making knowledge available is not a guarantee that it is assimilated and understood.

No one is obliged or necessarily inspired to change their way of thinking by observing others or their point of view. They are more likely to compare themselves to another to justify their lives accordingly, possibly integrating what is meaningful according to already established value systems and patterns of identity.

The topic of discussion is critical of dogma, not necessarily an openness to join one who lives by it to learn from it and experience what another thinks and feels while believing in it.

The fear that one might have made a mistake in perception is not something many are willing to admit. If one was to indeed find their perception was incomplete they would most likely doubt any modified perception if there is no authority to base truth on other than personal opinion.
Personal opinions grouped together to strengthen the will and sense of self worth is the same as creating a religion. Something that doesn't stand in its own merit is bound to change.

Truth never changes, if it does, it isn't truth, it's only a thought.

The human spirit is capable of standing clear in and amongst the descending chaos that comes from surrendering ones insight to the crowds in a democratic process of authority if it continues to produce violence and selfishness.

Everytime a great sage inspires us with the presence of Truth all lesser perceptions of reality are easily dropped and the mind opens to receive through innocense and love.
A true sage carries a sword that cuts through ignorance like a hot knife thru butter, but there is no guarantee that God in its infinite light can awaken anyone who will be stubborn for a lesser path than unconditional love and selflessness. Free will allows all ideas of choice to remain without restriction in their own natural conditions.
The ego will never ask for higher guidance or help. Only the heart will see thru ignorance and the heart is often clouded by perceptions of reality that define freedom and love by the material possesions and attachments to objects of change.

Truth is much more than individual perception, It is something that can be percieved equally by any individual and remains stable regardless of the changing mind and beliefs.

Those that experience less than that do not know Truth, they only know their changing thoughts and beliefs.



Here is the problem with that theory, what remains constant for one is a variable for another. What is truth to one is false to someone else. There are no truths which are accepted universally, if there were, then we would all have the same perception. Believe it or not, there are still people who think the world is flat.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 26, 2007, 11:10 PM

universal truth? Cogito ergo sum

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 26, 2007, 11:54 PM

^^ Nicely put

Posted by: Rick Feb 27, 2007, 09:45 AM

QUOTE(Casey @ Feb 26, 2007, 05:39 PM) *
... As I see it, disadvantaged individuals have found a way to compensate for the difficulties of life and the associated, unexplained phenomena. It seems to be a sort of social evolution. Can we ethically take that away from them? ...

Yes. Whenever we tell somebody the truth, we are doing a good, not a harm.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 27, 2007, 09:46 AM

QUOTE
Here is the problem with that theory, what remains constant for one is a variable for another. What is truth to one is false to someone else. There are no truths which are accepted universally, if there were, then we would all have the same perception. Believe it or not, there are still people who think the world is flat.

But the world is not flat is it? Misperception of reality doesn't alter reality it just means perception of it is clouded by programs that alter it. Programs created by false belief create illusions like hypnotic suggestions.
The hypnotized individual can wake up.

QUOTE
Nothing is using you Joe, you are simply being it.

It is more than Joe, the appearance of Joe, the sound of Joe and the life of Joe.

QUOTE
Stillness is not still, nor does it move…there is nothing for it to hold

Stillness is still and it is also active, the perception of it in activity is that the stillness lives within the activity. The perception of stillness is that activity is on the surface of the stillness.

QUOTE
Stillness is pure intelligence that just IS.

Isness is a word that describes pure potential, time, all time within potential that exists eternally.

QUOTE
There is nothing but intellect Joe… in constant flux. The intellect is expression. Intellect and thought are synonymous…thought and form are synonymous…nothing is truly differentiated, it only appears to be so…

This statement doesn't change what I've said.
QUOTE
The dream is form, form is consciousness, nothing is held, it just IS. There is no differentiation or separation just unlimited potential of expression. There is nothing to emerge from or recede into…

Potential is a word describing unmanifest Form which is a thing, it is experience, it is time, it is definition, it is held in place to percieve, it has beginnings and endings. That which makes it possible to perceive in form creates intellect in form and is itself formless.

QUOTE
Sound and silence are synonymous, when this is understood, so to is being.


Semantics.
We both say the same thing in different words and in different context.

Isness is truth. truth exists always and regardless of appearance it still is. You just replaced the word isness for my word truth


Posted by: Rick Feb 27, 2007, 09:47 AM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 26, 2007, 11:10 PM) *

universal truth? Cogito ergo sum

From the experience of thinking, one can only logically conclude that thinking exists. You will need to define "I" before concluding there is anything else there.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 27, 2007, 10:45 AM

"I" may be defined as a form of self-reference. Thus, "cogito ergo sum" is a self-referential statement attributing "thinking" and "being" to the thing making the statement. Of course, you can always call into question the premise of the statement (i.e., that the thing making it is actually "thinking").

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 27, 2007, 11:20 AM

But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.

Lucid, if I think, then does the thinking define me? If so then how can I think when the act of thinking is the creation of me?

Therefore, the only way to think is to already have thought because it is the thought which creates the I, which is what thinks.

So, what creates and defines the 'I' if not thought? Because I cannot exist without definition, so how can I think for the first time in order to bring myself into existance?

Since I do not have a definition of 'I' until I have thought, what is it that creates 'I' which allows it to think, and give a definition of itself?

Prehaps this is the God principle? Something whose thoughts have brought other thoughts into creation and allowed the I to define itself? Of course the question is then posed what created the God whose thoughts define itself who created thoughts of I which allowed the I to define itself.

It seems we have a paradox. Prehaps things never exist or dont exist but rather they only change?

Posted by: Rick Feb 27, 2007, 02:04 PM

Suppose I am not thinking. Does "cogito ergo sum" then imply that I have ceased to exist? No. Proof of my existence seems to depend on my thinking, but if I stop thinking, then I may still unprovably exist.

I think that the concept of "I" is a communicational convenience, much as time is a computational convenience; they are not things that have a property of existence (as do material things). Of course, I am distinguishing the concept of I from the human being that uses the word. Human beings obviously exist.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 27, 2007, 06:42 PM

QUOTE
But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.

Reality exceeds perception if the Known reality or ego is limited to misunderstanding.

Would you say you can never know more than you perceive in this moment? If there is more to know and perceive then reality is greater than your awareness of it.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 27, 2007, 07:45 PM

QUOTE
Uh…no, I did not
'fraid so....
QUOTE
…ISNESS is beyond form and intellect…it is pure potentiality…form and intellect define/create the perception/potential of a truth which is derived from judgment.

I wasn't using Truth in the context of judgment. I was using Truth in the context of non changing stability, potential/stillness, beyond the forms created by judgment.

QUOTE
I think that the concept of "I" is a communicational convenience, much as time is a computational convenience; they are not things that have a property of existence (as do material things). Of course, I am distinguishing the concept of I from the human being that uses the word. Human beings obviously exist.

Regardless of you giving attention to you, YOU are bigger than the meat bag and all aspects of you in all times and space exist even if the limited function of individual meatbag awareness is dysfunctional or sleeping/unconscious.

Posted by: Casey Feb 28, 2007, 06:51 AM

QUOTE(Rick @ Feb 27, 2007, 11:45 AM) *

Yes. Whenever we tell somebody the truth, we are doing a good, not a harm.


People have been trying to tell them the truth for eons.

I think Sam Harris (and lucid) is suggesting a more radical course of action beyond simply trying to convince them of the irrationality.

Posted by: Rick Feb 28, 2007, 12:50 PM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 25, 2007, 04:49 PM) *
... It is time to take an active role in stamping out this ignorance masquerading as knowledge, that calls itself religion. ...

Aside from pointing out that the emperor isn't wearing any clothes (there are no gods), what are some specific suggestions? Legislation seem out of the question in view of our legacy of freedom of speech.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 28, 2007, 01:15 PM

QUOTE(Rick @ Feb 27, 2007, 03:04 PM) *

Suppose I am not thinking. Does "cogito ergo sum" then imply that I have ceased to exist? No. Proof of my existence seems to depend on my thinking, but if I stop thinking, then I may still unprovably exist.

I think that the concept of "I" is a communicational convenience, much as time is a computational convenience; they are not things that have a property of existence (as do material things). Of course, I am distinguishing the concept of I from the human being that uses the word. Human beings obviously exist.


I am not talking about if you stop thinking does your existance stop. I am talking about How can one think in the first place without a definition. Since thinking is what defines you, then what is it that allows you to think?

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 27, 2007, 07:42 PM) *

QUOTE
But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.

Reality exceeds perception if the Known reality or ego is limited to misunderstanding.

Would you say you can never know more than you perceive in this moment? If there is more to know and perceive then reality is greater than your awareness of it.


Thats simply changing perception. You change the perception of what you know and what you percieve possible to know. In dreams, we can learn things yet they are not a thing of reality as we know it. They are something internal, yet they can change too and create new things. That is imagination and it is the heart of creation.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 28, 2007, 01:27 PM

Rick, I am suggesting not remaining tolerant. How you choose to act is contextual. I'm not suggesting anything illegal.

Posted by: Rick Feb 28, 2007, 03:17 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 28, 2007, 01:15 PM) *
... I am talking about How can one think in the first place without a definition. Since thinking is what defines you, then what is it that allows you to think? ...

I guess it's kind of like the computer science bootstrap problem. How can anything make sense without some pattern to compare it to, and how can you get the pattern if nothing makes sense.

Isn't it rather magical being human?

Posted by: Rick Feb 28, 2007, 03:30 PM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Feb 28, 2007, 01:27 PM) *
... I am suggesting not remaining tolerant. ...

I have been gradually becoming less tolerant of foolishness that threatens our liberties. Foolishness such as requiring the http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/whichcom.htm to be posted in courtrooms and public school classrooms.

Recently I got into a heated argument with a so-called Democrat who wants the government to imprison abortion providers because he believes some non-existent god puts some non-existent "soul" into an embryo at conception. I basically told him he was deluded. Needless to say, he didn't like that very much, but I think things like that need saying.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 28, 2007, 05:52 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 27, 2007, 07:42 PM) *

But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.
Reality exceeds perception if the Known reality or ego is limited to misunderstanding.

Would you say you can never know more than you perceive in this moment? If there is more to know and perceive then reality is greater than your awareness of it.


Thats simply changing perception. You change the perception of what you know and what you percieve possible to know. In dreams, we can learn things yet they are not a thing of reality as we know it. They are something internal, yet they can change too and create new things. That is imagination and it is the heart of creation.

So the world is flat if you say it is......

Posted by: Flex Feb 28, 2007, 06:01 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 28, 2007, 05:52 PM) *

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 27, 2007, 07:42 PM) *

But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.
Reality exceeds perception if the Known reality or ego is limited to misunderstanding.

Would you say you can never know more than you perceive in this moment? If there is more to know and perceive then reality is greater than your awareness of it.


Thats simply changing perception. You change the perception of what you know and what you percieve possible to know. In dreams, we can learn things yet they are not a thing of reality as we know it. They are something internal, yet they can change too and create new things. That is imagination and it is the heart of creation.

So the world is flat if you say it is......


Not just if you say it is. You must percieve it to be flat, and honestly believe it. Back in the day, the world really was flat in those peoples minds, and that is all that matters.

Posted by: lucid_dream Feb 28, 2007, 07:59 PM

QUOTE(Rick @ Feb 28, 2007, 03:30 PM) *
I basically told him he was deluded.


Kudos to you, Rick. Now what we need to do is give some public denouncements in churches during Sunday mass.

Posted by: maximus242 Feb 28, 2007, 08:42 PM

QUOTE(Flex @ Feb 28, 2007, 07:01 PM) *

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 28, 2007, 05:52 PM) *

QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 27, 2007, 07:42 PM) *

But Joesus, Reality IS Perception. Your entire reality is comprised of your perception, you know of nothing more than that which you percieve.
Reality exceeds perception if the Known reality or ego is limited to misunderstanding.

Would you say you can never know more than you perceive in this moment? If there is more to know and perceive then reality is greater than your awareness of it.


Thats simply changing perception. You change the perception of what you know and what you percieve possible to know. In dreams, we can learn things yet they are not a thing of reality as we know it. They are something internal, yet they can change too and create new things. That is imagination and it is the heart of creation.

So the world is flat if you say it is......


Not just if you say it is. You must percieve it to be flat, and honestly believe it. Back in the day, the world really was flat in those peoples minds, and that is all that matters.



Well done Flex, your starting to catch on.

Posted by: Joesus Feb 28, 2007, 08:50 PM

QUOTE
Not just if you say it is. You must percieve it to be flat, and honestly believe it. Back in the day, the world really was flat in those peoples minds, and that is all that matters.

In this case the Perception without experience was delusion. They took on a superstious belief that if you sailed to the horizon you would fall of the edge of the world and into a den of monsters.
Whether it mattered to them or not, is not the point.
If there is a universe supported by consciousness and its natural laws of being, and it contains objects of perception, is it solely created for delusional comprehension?
Tho that may be the case for the imagination driven by fear, and anyone who is not grounded in the refined use of the senses.
Fear is a feeling created by the mind wandering into the past and possible futures, plagued by superstitious beliefs that the physical body is the sole embodiment of the consiousness that inhabits it. Knowing this is a fallacy helps lend the mind to disseminate between halucinations or thoughts that are entertained not from experience but from the influence of rumors, and to turn towards something that is more stable, like optimism and possibility.

It would be one thing if everyone were witness to the edge of the world and those who were falling off as they sailed toward it, but this perception was mentally fabricated without any experience. Sure they experienced fear but that doesn't make anything real, it only makes the feeling of fear seem real.

If you say what they believed was all that mattered then I would say what really mattered, was that illusion was cast aside for experience through the evolution of conscious awareness and thought, in the ability to use the senses more wisely than to simply fall under the influence of every suggestion that creates caution and blocked intuitive resonance to the heart from fear.
Following every thought that wanders into the mind is not intelligence, and to follow those thoughts that lead to increasing fear rather than conscious awareness is lunacy.

To simply cast aside the idea of any clarity of understanding through refinement of the senses in the assumption that every person is only perceiving reality according to their individual ego means there is no consciousness above and beyond limited self interpretation.

I do agree that everything that is entering the awareness is automatically filtered through the muck of experiences of the past in lower states of conscious awareness as described by Patanjalo in the Yoga Sutras, but I also know that one can rise above the influence of illusions based on superstition and fear.

Thing is, the ego thinks it can build its own measuring system and make baseline comparisons to its own self judgment without opening itself to more than its limited points of reference. Because it can't escape its own cage of limitation and remain the same it would rather drag everything down to its level than risk moving outside of the self created box.

Those who believe their perceptions are limited will naturally try to place that belief into others because that is the nature of the influence of limitation created by ego identification.

Tho there is much knowledge accumulated on the Earth much of it doesn't really matter when you are sick, hungry or dead.
For all that has been accomplished by feeding the intellect, humanity is still far from achieving awareness in a reality that works to support humanity in its ability to be unconditionally supportive of each other as a whole, productive as a whole and compassionate as a whole.
Instead, it supports the teaching of competitiveness with the idea that winners are better than losers.

This is the same superstitious thinking that created fear of falling off of the edge of the world. People become stressed over the idea that they may not be able to live up to the grade, no matter who is creating the standard. Mostly it is our own lack of self worth that keeps us from rising above the democratic system of beliefs about ourselves as a species or as a community participant.

Kids are killing each other to prove they have balls enough to be strong, because they can't find it inside of themselves to stand on their own without seeking recognition on the outside from someone who might convince them they are ok.
Kids who are suffering under peer pressure and the projected stress of their parents who grew up to live and accept the same psychosis are being sabotaged by their stressed parents who are too busy with their own insecurities to help their kids.
In fact they don't know how to help them because they haven't helped themselves, they only know how to prepare themselves to enter a rat race to be accepted in a society heavily influenced by their peers and the mainstream media.

Perception is everything. If one cannot become clear or if there is no hope of becoming clear to the reality of things there is no hope that humanity would rise above its self created dogmas and self destructive behaviors to separate itself into classes of haves and have nots, in intelligence, beauty, wealth and health.

The universe has an intelligence behind it and it lives in all of us. There is no reason to believe we are cut off from it or that we can never perceive the ultimate reality of life clearly, together in Unity of heart mind and spirit.

If you really want to change the world you would have to know there is something that it can change into.

You will never know what that is as long as you focus on what is wrong with it and what needs to change.
You would necessarily have to know what is beyond evil and what is beyond that which is misperception.

What you focus on grows.

Focus on any problem through the idea of best guess scenarios and the belief in the limited misperception of reality in yourself and everyone else and nothing will ever change because you yourself have no faith even in yourself, to change.

If you could rise above delusion and separation from that which links all life, you would know what is in all life. How your brother or sister thinks, the desires they have and the reasons desires are compromised by fear and faithless beliefs created out of fear, self doubt and superstition.

Focus on the universal intelligence that is at every moment supporting your growth beyond fear and suffering, and It feeds your mind with intelligence to create something that will outlive and outshine the shadows of fear and delusion.

Of course if you really believe there is no such thing then you have no way for it to show itself, you aren't looking for it, and your senses are closed to the reality of it!!

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 01, 2007, 01:21 AM

Hmm, If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Does the tree fall, how do we know it has fallen? How do we know what sound a tree is supposed to make when it falls?

How is it you can claim that your perception of something can be made clearer than someone elses? I think you can have the perception that your perception is clearer, but I see no plausible explanation that your perception is anymore right or wrong then anyone elses.

Posted by: Orbz Mar 01, 2007, 02:52 AM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 06:21 PM) *

Hmm, If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Does the tree fall, how do we know it has fallen? How do we know what sound a tree is supposed to make when it falls?

How is it you can claim that your perception of something can be made clearer than someone elses? I think you can have the perception that your perception is clearer, but I see no plausible explanation that your perception is anymore right or wrong then anyone elses.


I'm reminded of the story in the Chuang Tzu about the fish- How do you know what I know?

Posted by: Joesus Mar 01, 2007, 09:21 AM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 09:21 AM) *

Hmm, If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it make a sound? Does the tree fall, how do we know it has fallen? How do we know what sound a tree is supposed to make when it falls?
By experiencing it fall and being a part of it.
Unless you deny the creation of manifest reality, then there is something to experience. Perception through belief my alter the experience due to feelings and attachments but if there is something to experience then there is something that is tangible to consciousness itself. That is the reflection of consciousness. Consciousness is a constant presence and once one goes through the filters of belief to experience what is behind the images created through those filters then perception is cleared of any pretense.

QUOTE
I see no plausible explanation that your perception is anymore right or wrong then anyone elses.

You wouldn't in your present state of belief because you still focus only on surface appearances and judge what you and others see.

This is perception, that is perception... but you throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Literally this saying is regarding the camouflage created around reality.

Back in the days when the yearly bath was taking place the father got the first bath, then the wife the kids and the youngest was last. By that time the water was so dirty you couldn't see what was in it. Hence the saying, don't throw the baby out....

If the mind is stressed with belief upon belief it is difficult to perceive what is in it but to assume this is the natural condition of the mind, and that it cannot perceive with any clarity is not a rational assumption.

It is the natural ability of the human to percieve clearly not the other way around.
The rationality of enlightenment is clear perception.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 01, 2007, 09:33 AM

Indeed, but what constitutes clear perception? Why does your opinion of what clear perception is overrule someone elses?

What if you have two enlightened people with differing views? Which one is correct?

Posted by: Joesus Mar 01, 2007, 10:01 AM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 05:33 PM) *

Indeed, but what constitutes clear perception? Why does your opinion of what clear perception is overrule someone elses?

What if you have two enlightened people with differing views? Which one is correct?

Consciousness recognises consciousness. Resonance with truth.

If you believe you've beened burned too many times by false beliefs you will wait forever for God to prove to you that God exists.

Have you ever met an enlightened person?
Do you believe they exist and do you believe they would have clear perception?

Have you ever been in a room with more than one enlightened person?

If you did you wouldn't ask me the question. Your ego does because it doesn't believe in the idea of anyone being able to lead you to clear perception of yourself.
The underlying belief in your subconscious is that you would rather fight for your own independence than to surrender yourself to another. You just don't trust in the reality of clear perception.

There are three recommendations in the eastern traditions of teaching enlightenment.
Surround your self with enlightened company
Study scripture (the written word of the enlightened)
Svadhaya (study of the Self) through meditation on the still self within all activity. Which by the way is not emptiness.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 01, 2007, 10:07 AM

You still didnt answer the question, what constitutes clear perception and why is that perception clearer than anyone elses?

Posted by: Joesus Mar 01, 2007, 10:37 AM

I did answer the question. You don't believe in it so for you there is no answer.

By the way you didn't answer my question about having met an enlightened person.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 01, 2007, 01:17 PM

I dono if I have because im not sure what an enlightened person is. Im using your theory of enlightenment being in cohesion with clear perspective.

I have the open mind and am willing to listen to your explanation of what clear perception is. I cannot believe in something I do not yet know, so tell me your thoughts on this so I have the chance to believe in it.

Posted by: lucid_dream Mar 01, 2007, 03:06 PM

Anyway, getting back to the topic, I would propose that anytime these religious propagandist fools and bible/koran thumpers feel compelled to indoctrinate us in their "wisdom", we should think twice about the dangers of toleration, and respond with a laugh and a swift rebuke.

Whether we care to admit it or not, there is a war being waged between Reason and Religious Superstition. It is time to take action to ensure that the right side wins and that our society is saved from further humiliation and stupidity.

And to anyone who doubts the seriousness of the dangers that religious dogma poses to society, then read "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris. If you can't afford it or find it in bookstores, search for the PDF version using Emule ( http://www.emule-project.net ).

Posted by: Joesus Mar 01, 2007, 06:25 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 09:17 PM) *

I dono if I have because im not sure what an enlightened person is. Im using your theory of enlightenment being in cohesion with clear perspective.

I have the open mind and am willing to listen to your explanation of what clear perception is. I cannot believe in something I do not yet know, so tell me your thoughts on this so I have the chance to believe in it.

You believe that the universe is open to endless possibilites and yet you haven't experienced all the possibilities, only what you have accepted to be real in your mind.
What stops you in this instance from being able to believe this possibility?
If you can answer this question you might be able to remove some of the blocks that keep you from knowing more than you do, and experiencing more than you do.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 02, 2007, 12:15 AM

:/ Your still avoiding the question, im willing to listen to your answer and genuinly consider it, now either you know the answer or you dont.

Posted by: Joesus Mar 02, 2007, 09:38 AM

Can't give you anything until you put down what you are holding. You aren't making room for anything more than you are carrying.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 02, 2007, 10:26 AM

I have put it down, my reality is now open for new ideas and new beliefs. So, answer the question, if not for me than for someone else. Unless, you dont know the answer?

Posted by: Joesus Mar 02, 2007, 10:39 AM

I've already answered the question, if you really put down what you keep in front of it (your beliefs) then it will become Self evident.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 02, 2007, 10:45 AM

Enough cryptology, I dont think you know the answer yourself. If you did, then you could plainly tell me, not giving me cryptic messages okay?

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 02, 2007, 10:48 AM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 01, 2007, 07:25 PM) *

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 01, 2007, 09:17 PM) *

I dono if I have because im not sure what an enlightened person is. Im using your theory of enlightenment being in cohesion with clear perspective.

I have the open mind and am willing to listen to your explanation of what clear perception is. I cannot believe in something I do not yet know, so tell me your thoughts on this so I have the chance to believe in it.

You believe that the universe is open to endless possibilites and yet you haven't experienced all the possibilities, only what you have accepted to be real in your mind.
What stops you in this instance from being able to believe this possibility?
If you can answer this question you might be able to remove some of the blocks that keep you from knowing more than you do, and experiencing more than you do.


Nothing is stopping me...

Posted by: Casey Mar 05, 2007, 11:38 AM

QUOTE(lucid_dream @ Mar 01, 2007, 05:06 PM) *

I would propose that anytime these religious propagandist fools and bible/koran thumpers feel compelled to indoctrinate us in their "wisdom", we should think twice about the dangers of toleration, and respond with a laugh and a swift rebuke.

Yes, let's laugh and criticize them until they adopt our point of view!

Long live hypocrisy!

Yes, I realize that my argument method directly contradicts it's content, and thus, I am hypocritical as well. That was intentional, so don't bother pointing it out.


QUOTE

Whether we care to admit it or not, there is a war being waged between Reason and Religious Superstition. It is time to take action to ensure that the right side wins and that our society is saved from further humiliation and stupidity.

That's a bit melodramatic...

I do, however, agree with you Lucid. I think we should attempt to change their minds, but I question your methodology.

Posted by: Chip Mar 05, 2007, 10:53 PM

Just read through this thread, mostly. I'm afraid I did not read all of one long post. Watched all of the about 20 hours of the Beyond Belief conference via Google videos and Tom Harris was a participant. He had some quite dogmatic beliefs himself, apparently, concerning how Islam is most evil and Christianity rather benign. I liked the comment by a person in the audience that recent research suggests that our latest war in Iraq has killed perhaps close to 700,000 innocents, basically so-called Christians murdering for their dogma. This does not take into account the estimated millions killed by the long held sanctions, mostly children.

The reason why I viewed all of the available videos of the "Beyond Belief" conference is because I am trying to figure out a basic scientific cosmology and the set of evidence born theory that has a spiritual, say, a religious connotation in agreement with known science. Lots of little things come into what appears to be some clarification such as there being two kinds of faith, one born of expectations based on knowledge and another based on a desire to belong to a powerful elite, call it "coerced" belief. The so-called struggle between science and religion then becomes basically a struggle between epistemic relativism and science. As far as I can tell, science is relative epistemics.

I'll be posting my ideas soon including a breakdown of various cosmologies via analysis and representation using directed probabiltiy vector graphs, appears to throw a lot of light on the subject.

Just watched the movie "The Secret of Conscious Co-Creation" on google though I think it is only listed there as "The Secret." I later found the full title via isohunt. I kind of enjoyed the video. There does seem to be a mystical, magical quality to existence, one we can tap and use to create the best of all possible worlds. Here's hoping.


Posted by: lucid_dream Mar 05, 2007, 10:58 PM

I can't wait to see your breakdown. How are you going to post the directed probability vector graphs?

Posted by: Chip Mar 05, 2007, 11:08 PM

Actually I've already posted them as just an aside to an old site I no longer own. The provider has kept it available gratis now for almost six months. I'll let you know when I get it up again on my new site where I hope to focus on it more completely than on the old site.

BTW, the author of "Letter to a Christian Nation" is actually "Sam Harris."

Interesting that in the "Beyond Belief" conference they seemingly all confused the tenents of Hinduism with Buddhism.

Posted by: lucid_dream Mar 05, 2007, 11:12 PM

QUOTE(Chip @ Mar 05, 2007, 11:08 PM) *
BTW, the author of "Letter to a Christian Nation" is actually "Sam Harris."

Holy crap! Thanks, Chip. I corrected the posts (well most of them) with that typo. I'm not sure where Tom came from or how I let that slip.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 05, 2007, 11:15 PM

Oh no, your not watching that law of attraction new age crap are you? That by simply thinking that you will get a million dollars it will magically come to you?

Let us hope that man kind will survive another wave of this religous dogma.

Posted by: Chip Mar 05, 2007, 11:25 PM

QUOTE(maximus242 @ Mar 05, 2007, 11:15 PM) *

Oh no, your not watching that law of attraction new age crap are you? That by simply thinking that you will get a million dollars it will magically come to you?

Let us hope that man kind will survive another wave of this religous dogma.


LOL. Well, maximus, I see some reference in your posts in this thread to reality being a function of consciousness. Maybe it was a different poster? If you take that to logical ends, the general theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and even string theory and the idea of a multiverse, then something falls out of that that says we are not helpless automatons. I think all you need to come to that conclusion is a steady state universe which whether or not string theory proves likely can still be the case. In fact, appears to me we can only induce what the totality of the universe is as I sincerely doubt if any of us can be around long enough to witness what would be necessary to deduce the nature of universe.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 05, 2007, 11:33 PM

That is what is known as the Unified Theory of Everything and they are still working on it.

Im the same person who posted before, I just dont buy into hoping for things to come to you out of thin air. Positive thinking and focus is fine but you dont get anywhere without purposely going their. Things do happen for a reason and you need to create that reason in order to get the effect.

Its cause and effect. You can go into Chaos Theory with this but essentially, thinking about something isnt enough... want proof? I know a guy who has thought about winning the lottery every day of his life since he was 18. Still hasnt happened.

If you read my treatise on philosophy you will see that reality has rules, one of them is cause and effect. Although reality or the perception of it is a consciousness experience, this doesnt mean you can suddenly percieve yourself walking on water.. its not that easy. Well unless your a schitzophreniac I suppose. Otherwise, reality is based off of rules and you need to play by those rules, trying to go outside them means going to a diffrent reality. If you want to make things happen in this reality you need to use those rules to your advantage.

You wanna know what the real secret is? People always want a cure and never a prevention. They always will buy into the get rich quick schemes and making money without working for it. The secret is essentially about fufilling peoples hopes and dreams that they can somehow get everything they want in life without lifting a finger. Alls it really is, is a get rich quick scheme that borders in the new age realm and not only promises money but also anything else you can dream up.

Posted by: Chip Mar 05, 2007, 11:42 PM

I basically agree with you maximus. I have long believed there is a positive power to negative thinking, in fact, all four combinations are valid. The trick is to think. I don't believe in that movie entirely, just something like that appears likely from my own experiences. They do include some rather stringent clarifications, you just can't get anything and everything just through thinking "but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need..." (maybe I quote that Rolling Stones song correctly).

Posted by: Chip Mar 05, 2007, 11:46 PM

BTW, Truth is not an opinion. Truth is something not a one of us can know but we can begin to approximate through collusion. The idea that truth is opinon is Ayn Rand new age stuff out the ying-yang and it fosters much violence. Oh, violence is the unintelligent application of force as far as I can tell.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 06, 2007, 12:00 AM

Well I have known many successful people and I can tell you that they all got rich through working their asses off. Ive never met anyone who made a large sum of money by doing nothing, hell it even takes work to sue someone and thats about as easy as it gets. In the end, positive thinking can help you from sabotaging yourself but thats about as far as it goes.

This applies to anything, the great classical musicians were so skilled because they practiced day and night. You cannot positive think your way to being a master of art anymore than you can positive think your way to being a neuroscientist. Skill in anything comes from practice and thinking about what your doing.

People like the divine Raphael were so skilled at art because they had been doing it all day long since they were 8 years old. Along with the fact that he was talented and very intelligent, this makes for a great combination as an artist. People think that these artists made art out of thin air, when they have no clue that paintings like The Virgin of The Rocks took 2 and a half years to complete.

It annoys me how some marketers try to profit by talking about secrets of how they did things when it was really just intelligence, talent and most of all sweat - combined together to make a great masterpiece. They made great paintings because they worked really really hard on them and people get rich because they work really hard to get rich.

Posted by: Chip Mar 06, 2007, 12:26 AM

Afraid there is a great gulf in our understandings, maximus. For one thing, I find "money" to be inherently dysfunctional. Accepting that it's accumulation is a measure of wealth is thinking a zero sum game is all that is possible and I find that rather crass and inept. Tokens is tokens.

There is another difficulty, we are conversing in an online forum. It has characteristics that do not allow for real communication, linear dependence on words and maybe an occasional graphic, it is not peer to peer by its very nature. It's characteristics cater to epistemic relativism, power deciding right which is just plain wrong. Easy to think that "killing the messenger" proves a contention. If that is all we are going to be able to muster then I expect humanity will be just a failed experiment and that is liable to be quite an unpleasant and drawn out episode of great suffering and death within our short lifetimes.

BTW, as far as I can tell, philosophy is a love of wisdoms, not wisdom.

Oh, I kind of have the idea that if you are a human being on Earth, thinking that one or another has or has had success is just allusion. As long as our biosphere is under the threat of total collapse, success is just a fantasy. With some real success we will be seeing longevity increase faster than expected mortality. Our biosphere will entail space colonies throughout this solar system and interstellar vessels promising to plant our consciousness elsewhere, maybe even intergalactic eventually. That is not yet the case at all. Forget the alluding to people in the past. They died. You and me may not have to do that if we play our cards right.

Kind of worthless for me to go on with this discussion.

Posted by: lucid_dream Mar 06, 2007, 08:42 AM

QUOTE(Chip @ Mar 05, 2007, 11:46 PM) *
The idea that truth is opinon is Ayn Rand new age stuff


and she parroted the idea from Nietzsche, as she did much of her "objectivism". I'm not sure where Nietzsche got it from.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 06, 2007, 09:07 AM

QUOTE(Chip @ Mar 06, 2007, 12:46 AM) *

BTW, Truth is not an opinion. Truth is something not a one of us can know but we can begin to approximate through collusion. The idea that truth is opinon is Ayn Rand new age stuff out the ying-yang and it fosters much violence. Oh, violence is the unintelligent application of force as far as I can tell.


Sigh* Then is the atomic bomb violent? It requires a great deal of intelligence to apply it in both its creation and application. It is definatly not new age stuff, it is a philosophy about perception and perspective and the role it plays in the formation of reality. It touches on neuroscience and the logical functions of the brain and how the logical side will illogically explain things when seperated from the right lobe. This is because reality needs consistent rules and whether those rules are true or not is entirely up to you.


Lucid, I have heard of a few other philosophers who had the truth is an opinion philosophy as well. Im not sure where it originates from though but I think it goes quite far back in history.

Posted by: Joesus Mar 06, 2007, 10:20 AM

QUOTE
Well I have known many successful people and I can tell you that they all got rich through working their asses off. Ive never met anyone who made a large sum of money by doing nothing, hell it even takes work to sue someone and thats about as easy as it gets. In the end, positive thinking can help you from sabotaging yourself but thats about as far as it goes.

There are quite a few more who have done nothing to inherit their money, or win the lottery other than to by a ticket. Tho their hard work to make a dollar to by a ticket could be construed as the logical factor the reality is, that the current reality in which one lives is to a great degree designed prior to birth.
Based on the desires which were foremost in the consciousness of the individual in the previous lifetimes the universe responds to fulfill the desire.
In your friend, wanting to win the lottery may be a holdover from another/many lifetimes to live a life of ease and wealth, or newly created in thisone, but if it doesn't manifest it is only because the desire for something different underlies the lottery desire and was brought forward into this life to fulfill itself.
We are not always consciously aware of the reasons we create the lessons that we do but never the less we are responsible for the things that go on around us.

QUOTE
Sigh* Then is the atomic bomb violent? It requires a great deal of intelligence to apply it in both its creation and application.

Omniscience exists within the fabric of the universe and it takes a modicum of openness to congnise the mechanical components within the mechanics of it.
Francis Crick was high on LSD ( http://www.miqel.com/entheogens/francis_crick_dna_lsd.html ) when he cognized the DNA helix. A temporary crack was achieved in the veil between intellectual constructs of his subconscious belief system to allow the vision to come forth into his awareness.

The discovery of the atom and its properties was something of an cognitive accomplishment but the following need to harness its destructive power as a bomb to destroy life regardless of the lingering fallout and threat to the rest of humanity was not the best that intelligence could achieve.
As we speak the government is running out of room to store its atomic waste and spends a great deal of energy and money trying to keep what it does have stable enough so it doesn't explode and destroy the planet, or leak into the earth from its containment system and poison the planet.
They continue to store more every year with this threat in mind thinking that some day in the future someone will devise a solution. To me this doesn't bode well as an example of intelligence. It's more of a crap shoot where intelligence gambles the future of humanity on a possible future solution, with the idea in mind that the risk now is negligable and allows us as a species to continue the madness and live out our lives because it doesn't matter that we will be dead if and when the problem comes to its crisis point.

QUOTE
Lucid, I have heard of a few other philosophers who had the truth is an opinion philosophy as well. Im not sure where it originates from though but I think it goes quite far back in history.

And it makes sense to the waking state mind because it does not fathom anything stable in the changing world other than change, death and taxes.

There is a story called the Mahabharata, where everyone gets the ability to manipulate matter at will with the ego intact. The end result is that by the time everyone is through allowing their thoughts to extend themselves through the the careless emotional influence of their current state of conscious awareness, 7 people are left on the planet because they have vaporized each other in the petty differences in thoughts, and the subsequent jealousies created by separation and judgment. To each of them Truth was their opinion and they took it to the extent of its difference and the need to protect it and fight for it.

There is an underlying truth in humanity that binds us all together but that takes real intelligence to bring it forth without destroying each other and the environment.
Sacrifice of life and the health of the environment can be a useful means to wake up but it's not the only way. There are even more intelligent ways to do it.

Posted by: Rick Mar 06, 2007, 02:36 PM

QUOTE(Chip @ Mar 05, 2007, 11:46 PM) *
... violence is the unintelligent application of force as far as I can tell.

I like your definition of violence. It implies that if intelligence is used in the decision to use force, the result is non-violent.

An intelligent agent (when successful) will use the minimum amount of force necessary. Should circumstances ever arise in which it can be shown that, for example, a nuclear weapon is the only feasible option, then by minimizing the application of force, the agent is acting non-violently. That is, all other scenarios are worse.

It's a bit of a stretch, but it hangs together.

Posted by: Joesus Mar 07, 2007, 08:42 AM

QUOTE
Should circumstances ever arise in which it can be shown that, for example, a nuclear weapon is the only feasible option, then by minimizing the application of force, the agent is acting non-violently. That is, all other scenarios are worse.

That, is a stretch. Shades of George W.

Posted by: maximus242 Mar 07, 2007, 09:51 AM

yet another episode of selective logic

Posted by: Rick Mar 12, 2007, 03:07 PM

QUOTE(Joesus @ Mar 07, 2007, 09:42 AM) *

QUOTE
Should circumstances ever arise in which it can be shown that, for example, a nuclear weapon is the only feasible option, then by minimizing the application of force, the agent is acting non-violently. That is, all other scenarios are worse.

That, is a stretch. Shades of George W.

The example I had in mind was the decision to use nuclear weapons to end WW II. I know this is disputed by some, but there are reliable estimates that the decision saved about a million American soldiers. Many of us (in the USA) might not be here today talking about this if that decision had been made in the other direction.

Posted by: Joesus Mar 13, 2007, 08:36 AM

QUOTE
violence is the unintelligent application of force as far as I can tell.

I like your definition of violence. It implies that if intelligence is used in the decision to use force, the result is non-violent.

Regarding the violence factor and intelligence. When Japan sought to expand it's resources by invading Manchuria that was an act of violence. When Nazi Germany extended its intentions of genocide in Europe that was violent. Then when the U.S. Extended the threat of nuclear supremecy, that was the best it could muster in it's combined efforts in intelligent action.
As Far as intelligence goes humanity tends to find it's solutions thru control in show of force, and use of force.

By dropping the Atom Bombs the U.S. killed more people in a matter of minutes than any other battle in the same amount of time.
The bomb wasn't just dropped on those who started the war or controlled the masses but on civilian populations.

Even in todays war against terrorism I find it hard to believe with all of the intelligence and money spent they can't seem to find the leaders who created the threat in the first place.
It is more likely that there is a bigger picture of manipulation going in which there are people on both sides manipulating the masses to create industry to support war for purposes of wealth and power.

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