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Sensible religion


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Showing 51-75 of 540 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 4:12:11 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
Captain Bligh of HMS Bounty. Had a few problems of a supervisory nature and later became governor of New South Wales.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 4:21:02 PM PDT
D. Thomas says:
"Psychedelic wimp"? What is that?

Do you mean psychotic?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 6:02:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2012 6:14:06 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
That was a quote from the Comments below the video in the Youtube site for the movie made by "SoulSnatching" to one "Mr. Fribble2011".

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 6:14:38 PM PDT
Nova: we understand that these things happen and are happening. This kind of evil exists and is unnecessary, from a certain vantage point. But, what is the group karma? What is necessary if the players are not victims, but are cosmic forces at work?

BD: Evil is not something that happens--understand that first of all. You say, "this Captain was a mutiny waiting to happen. It was but a matter of time." And so it is with evil. It could be prevented, *but things just go horribly wrong when the clash of personal wills steps beyond a certain boundary.* We should be listening to the "better angels of our nature," as Lincoln said, but we're selectively deaf. Nevertheless, Bligh is no monster. One does not have to subscribe to the monster theory to account for evil. I forget who said it, but all that is necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to remain silent. I agree with another concept of how evil enters the world which has been called "the banality of evil" thesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banality_of_evil

Do not misunderstand me to suggest that ordinary people go about committing evil left and right, certainly not on the grand scale of the Nazis, for example. What I am suggesting is that evil is a pervasive fact of human psychology that can't be entirely ascribed to poor learning or deficient reason. There is a part of us that is ready to step over that line of circumscription and into the zone where evil can enter. This is one of the reasons that I gravitate more toward a Christian viewpoint. I admit that I find none of the Eastern religions really convincing in their explanations of evil with the sole exception of Taoism. Taoism simply acknowledges that chaos wears everything down to a smooth, rounded surface. There is no psychology in this view beyond "Don't be a sissy!" It is a thoroughly amoral perspective on things.

My view of evil is primarily a psychological one. Where does communication, trust, and high regard break down? Look back at the exchange between Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian and see if you can locate the rupture. What mistake did one or both of them make?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 8:02:10 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Nova, you're welcome. They're really earlier versions, though, they're the first two stanzas of the whole Invocation.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 6:02:37 AM PDT
Nova137 says:
Baba,

Thanks for the explanations and reference to banality. I'm definitely going to get a few of the versions of the movie if I can find them. I'll look for the mistakes.

I do want to emphasize the fact that one of the hardest things to do in life as a human being is love that which appears to us that which we need not love; or, condemn that which appears needing condemnation; or, as you point out in your original point to me: be able to recognize that despite all of our efforts to do good we end up committing evil.

I read the wiki on the banality of evil. I would say that the subjective science is directly related to reducing these tendencies in us. Evil is when group-think goes astray. Ignoring group karma for the moment, I'll focus on ridding oneself of this tendency.

First, you are alone and act alone. Your actions can never be swayed by any other person because you have trained yourself to be master and commander (!) of your own ship. That is, you inherently know that no state of mind is above the well-being of those in front of you (this includes one's own self in that all experiences of them is your own experience and responsibility). No ideology. No religion. No god is above this...call it the First Thought.

Second, you act from this place of utter peace and love. Your actions and thought processes are constantly putting all of the external actions and thoughts inside and outside of self up against the First Thought; up against the worth of beings in front of you above every form they create ("form" in this defined as the reason at some point a person is ready "to step over that line of circupscription and into the zone where evil can enter"). I'm ignoring doing a lesser evil for a greater good, here, too, just to keep things simple.

Third, the utter conviction of your love of the person in front of you; of the group of beings you are part and parcel of is shown to self and demonstrated to others again and again and again, with such momentum and dedication such *that it is now that which is sought by others in the group*. This requires the ability in you to go with them a mile and when they ask, you go twain *down the road of evil with them*, constantly asking them with the presence of love under-girdding every movement in your psycho-physiological expressions toward them.

After this, after listening to the "better angels of our nature," nature's greatest momentum in any one individual or group will take its rightful course, beyond which reason cannot go. I have found that as a human being, limited in influence as I am, I can only make the First Thought real in me, I cannot force it into others, but only demonstrate it such that it can be believed in.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 7:07:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 30, 2012 7:35:46 AM PDT
Bubba says:
He sounds like he had some sort of mental problem and was an a-hole, although it doesn't sound like he was evil. Crapping on somebody else's carpet is gauche and an a-hole thing to do, although I am not sure that it is evil.

Edited to remove "may have"

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 6:16:52 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
Nancy,

Thanks again. Can we say that the forces at work in the Plan are dark and light, discussed by Christians as opposing each other. But, it appears to my new-age mind that they are not really working against each other, but are cosmically linked to bring forth certain cosmic cycles within our universe.

Particularly, we are talking about the cosmic cycles of earth and her inhabitants. Being human, we focus and discuss human affairs and how cosmic events affect us. Although the human mind may want to find a nice, crisp line dividing light from dark, we know scientifically, that there can be shades of light and dark in bands, one against the other, with no real clear edge, just shades of lighter to darker grays.

Historians on each side may write the good to their side and the evil to the enemy side, but this is just moral relativism, a preference for a mind-set and mode of operating as a moral being. There are opposites in our sphere, we see that in these fora, in denominational churches & hallowed halls of science. We also see it in the very claim of traditional Christians that this "Plan of Love and Light" of the New-Age is demonic in origin.

I say, if we look at the content of the Invocation, that the forces of darkness are bringing forth a massive set of catastrophes (in the form of the two wars) to bring forth this plan of love and light. Just as Thomas doubted, Peter denied and Judas gave up the Christ to the Roman soldiers, the plan has its seedy underbelly, its dark-side, its shadow, which must accomplish its ends to further the ends of the whole.

What say ye?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 30, 2012 8:39:08 PM PDT
Re Nova137 above: "What say ye?" Drivel.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 12:22:50 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
Ah, Nova, I say that while there is cosmic evil, much of what humans see as evil, i.e., death, destruction of buildings through "acts of God", illness, all kinds of "tragedies", is really part of a much greater cycle of which we can see very little if anything at all.

Have you read the Gospel of Judas? I think it's relevant to this discussion, because it posits the possibility that Judas was asked by Christ to "betray" him so that the job he came to do could be accomplished. Now, I am not, as you know, a literalist when it comes to the Bible, I don't even know if Judas existed as a real person, but the story gives us a clue as to whether evil may be something wholly other than what we think. I think that's what you were talking about in your post.

It's late, I just got back from a day in Bend (Oregon) where we went to spend time with friends and ended the day seeing Capitol Steps perform at the Tower theater there. I do love political satire, and they are the best! More tomorrow.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 4:52:01 AM PDT
Nova137 says:
Thanks Nancy. I have not read the Gospel of Judas. Looking forward to any further comments on the subject!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 6:38:03 AM PDT
Baba Dots - "Do not even try to count....Just trust. ... This seems to me to be a healthy world-outlook"

Why so, when we have the ability to count? I have much more respect for Archimedes, who tried to work out how much sand there was, than I would for someone who thought it didn't matter anyway.

" If it becomes important enough to someone that it shapes his /her interactions with other people and with nature, then it is most certainly a religious disposition."

Well, everyone who isn't dead interacts with other people and with nature, and everyone isn't religious, so no, it is not "most certainly" a religious disposition.

I'm not crazy about utilitarianism, where "hey, if it makes you happy" is thought to be more important than truth. I'd rather ask, even if the search is difficult, and even if the answers are sometimes uncomfortable.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 11:26:01 AM PDT
Astrocat says:
The best book I know is Elaine Pagels' "Reading Judas". I'm still processing, pulling back the outer layers and meditating on the symbolic meanings. I'll get back to you.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 12:30:00 PM PDT
Re Davison, above: "meditating on the symbolic meanings." This is dangerous ground. If the meaning isn't clear prima facie, attempting to puzzle out some "symbolic meaning" is unlikely to come up with anything useful. How would you defend YOUR reading of the symbolic message against someone else's differing reading?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 1:01:32 PM PDT
Mark Hornberger,
Just trust, enjoy, and be thankful.
If you do, then you will understand why it was a good idea.
Step 1: Just trust.
Too difficult? Then just be aware of when and why you feel less than trusting. Find out what it was that caused you to shift from trust to mistrust. If you do not go into these matters you cannot enjoy and be thankful. It really is that simple.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 2:32:56 PM PDT
If you give me all your money, you'll receive a great reward.

Just trust me.

When can I expect your check?

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 4:39:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 31, 2012 4:52:40 PM PDT
Hello Michael,
You know, I really don't think this Celtic prose is talking about belief or level of confidence in this or that assertion. It's talking about unconditional trust in the life source. I understand trust as a prerequisite to enjoyment and a capacity for gratitude. It's a three point plan for happiness--at least that is how I interpret it.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 4:53:48 PM PDT
Nova137 says:
MA,

I have to ask, do you really mean this with any seriousness what-so-ever?

1st: Assume the person is truly in a place of trust that *no longer requires the world to be fair* to be right with that person. Your example cannot affect this person.

2nd: The content of the world we are considering in this poem only begins at the point your post ends.

3rd: This 2nd person is the place every piece of advice begins in true spirituality and trust in the cosmos as life-giver.

4th: There is no need to protect the person described 1st. Your state of consciousness is completely understood by the person described 2nd. The 3rd person gives you life.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 9:01:23 PM PDT
Re Baba Dots, 10-31 4:39 PM: "...unconditional trust in the life source." This presumes that the "life source" can somehow provide information -- in the Shannon sense of making the outcome of some situation more predictable than by random chance. Would you care to elaborate a situation to which this applies? If the "life source" can provide no information, there is nothing to trust.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 9:48:18 PM PDT
I find your rhetoric to be lacking in substance.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 10:34:42 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Okay, Robert, so for you, meditating is dangerous ground? When I choose a seed thought to meditate on, such as the symbolic meaning behind the story of Judas' "betrayal", I find it not at all dangerous, but expanding, stretching, allowing me to see beyond the "prima facie", which is exactly why I meditate. The underlying meanings are the key to reality, which is much, much more than what is most obvious.

And there again, is the idea that one must defend one's understanding, someone must "win" the "contest" and someone must "lose". I just don't see things that way, Robert. In fact, if half a dozen of us were to meditate on the same, exact seed thought, I'd hope that we'd all come up with different concepts, giving us a wealth of information coming from those divergent perspectives. That's the joy of study, reflection, meditation and observation.

So I'm wondering if you are afraid to meditate on such things because you're afraid you'll come up with an indefensible position? If so, that's pretty sad.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 10:49:46 PM PDT
Jeremiah Cox says:
I take a broad view of what constitutes religion:

This sense of the world's presence, appealing as it does to our peculiar individual temperament, makes us either strenuous or careless, devout or blasphemous, gloomy or exultant, about life at large; and our reaction, involuntary and inarticulate and often half unconscious as it is, is the completest of all our answers to the question, "What is the character of this universe in which we dwell?" It expresses our individual sense of it in the most definite way. Why then not call these reactions our religion, no matter what specific character they may have?

James, William (2012-05-12). Varieties of Religious Experience, a Study in Human Nature (p. 14). . Kindle Edition.

I think James should have stopped right there, but he goes on to opine that unless that reaction is "serious" it is not a religious reaction. I think he got it right the first time.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 11:19:14 PM PDT
Re Davison, 10-31 10:34 PM: "I'd hope that we'd all come up with different concepts," Suppose that these concepts are antithetical? By what means shall you determine which (if either) is correct?

"So I'm wondering if you are afraid to meditate on such things because you're afraid you'll come up with an indefensible position?" Hardly. If I were to come up with an indefensible position, I would abandon it.

Which reminds me of a tale attributed to John Maynard Keynes. Asked, once, what he would do if something which he had posited turned out to be wrong, he replied: "I change my mind, sir. What do YOU do, sir?"

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 11:23:34 PM PDT
Baba Dots - "Just trust, enjoy, and be thankful"

Trust what? I am thankful for a great number of things. I don't find trust and inquiry mutually exclusive.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 31, 2012 11:23:41 PM PDT
Re Cox, 10-31 10:49 PM: "Why then not call these reactions our religion,...?" This hardly matches the usual meaning attached to that word. Typically (at least with the Abrahamic religions), there is an implication of some sort of supernaturalism.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
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Initial post:  Oct 26, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 15, 2013

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