Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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Social climber
the Wastelands
Apr 28, 2013 - 12:57pm PT
The problem with the above statement is that this gets presented not an another opinion, but as some known fact, when this is either something Norton either just guessed at by observing religious folk, or projected from his own experiences.

well Largo, do not we all, including you, "quess" at what is impossible to know?

and do you like me also "project from your own experiences"?

of course you do

I will take your comment as a simple observation and not any kind of intended opposition or insult

so what is your point, John?

it is that because Norton cannot testify with personal certainty that his "yep" in agreement was ONLY a personal opinion?

and therefore perhaps not as meaningful as an opinion as one such as you who gets"it", the vague wonderful and fulfillment of meditation and spiritualism?

yeah John, I DO have ONLY my own life experiences and opinion to conclude that humans made up god and religion in order to deal with their own evolving consciousness's hard wired and desperate need to HOPE that their own lives are no meaningful than a plant's and that there just has to be an afterlife or what's the point

color me naive and weakly subject to my own non meditatively formed experiences and resultant opinions


Social climber
An Oil Field
Apr 28, 2013 - 01:00pm PT
Chunking religion in with spiritual practices is like combining creationism with evolution. They're both talking about origins, right?

I made that statement in a post about religion. It got carved away from the other 15 sentences and then placed into a context that had little to do with the entire post.

That's how things are done on the interweb. I remember when the web first started. It was very strange to be communicating by typing. I used to wonder what that person was like on the other end.

I now picture them differently. I read these words and a picture appears in my mind that no doubt has very little to do with the actual person.

I know very nice people who go off on the internet. I also know total as#@&%es who are sweet peas on the net.

All in all, there is a lot lacking in this form of interaction. It isn't natural.

Hebrews 1:3
Apr 28, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
The Philosophers at Athens
Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”

Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.

19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

Addressing the Areopagus
22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:


Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Gym climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 04:19pm PT

Really, life after death?

Yes the soul is separate from the body, anyone who has seen a fresh kill knows this.

This thread should be a verbosity example, for an English 101 class.

You guys... really need to stop trying to impress each other and say something worthy...


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 28, 2013 - 05:25pm PT
What is the end game of your practice?

No end game. No one ever arrives, so you either get gigggy with the journey, or have another drink.

What purpose will it serve in the end?

The practice serves to address certain questions and curiosities some people have about their life that cannot addressed by thinking or by simply getting quiet. A "middle road."

What is the goal?

To experience directly the fundamental nature of reality as it unfolds in our life, the process itself, not a freeze frame, not a scrap of info you can hold up so the discursive mind can say, "Oh. I got it now." Another way to answer this is to say, the exploration of the terrain that exists beyond superficial, or small mind (with a small m).

And Norton, you're making catagorical statements about spiritual folk, lumping them in with religious folk. Perhaps you don't even know the difference. The issue that makes your statement potentially dishonest is that instead of going to a spiritual center and seeing for yourself if in fact everyone was there to address a terror of dying, or even if you asked people engaged in the work, that would be one thing. But my sense is that you simply looked at a demographic, guessed what was going on off the top of you head, and made a declaration.

I'm not certain such a tactic would buy you much credibility in any field of study - not bothering to investigate a single aspect of the terrain, but commenting anyhow. The word bullshit artist comes to mind. I'm guilty of it myself sometimes. We all are when we talk from something other than our direct experience and don't mention we're actually guessing.


The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Apr 28, 2013 - 06:20pm PT
You ever hear girls say that?
"I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual."
I like to reply with "I'm not honest, but you're interesting!" -Daniel Tosh

And maybe a parallel to this elusive no-thing-ness here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eigengrau

Mountain climber
Apr 28, 2013 - 07:03pm PT

I haven't been around lately at ST.

Good to see you back.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
So Largo, one more question
What about life after death?
Do you believe it exists in some manner (your soul or thoughts live on), or doesn't matter, or does not exist.

Coz says it's embarrassing to talk about, but he just confused the issue further, did he mean to say that the soul lives on?, which would indicate that he does believe in life after death, what a kook.

Well anyway, I disagree with him, I think we should discuss the possibility. And if there is no soul, then there is nohing that could live on after death, right?

I already know what Largo is going say, "It doesn't matter", of course, it's a diversion from the path, etc.

He is like a fortified brick wall, only replying in a well versed dogma of "Never revealing any sort of Convictions".

Apr 28, 2013 - 08:11pm PT
Ok, Cintune, I looked at the wiki article. It's a particularly short one. Not even a screen. Here's what it says:

Researchers noticed early on that the shape of intensity-sensitivity curves could be explained by assuming that an intrinsic source of noise in the retina produces random events indistinguishable from those triggered by real photons.[4][5] Later experiments on rod cells of cane toads (Bufo marinus) showed that the frequency of these spontaneous events is strongly temperature-dependent, which implies that they are caused by the thermal isomerization of rhodopsin.[6] In human rod cells, these events occur about once every 100 seconds on average, which, taking into account the number of rhodopsin molecules in a rod cell, implies that the half-life of a rhodopsin molecule is about 420 years.[7] The indistinguishability of dark events from photon responses supports this explanation, because rhodopsin is at the input of the transduction chain. On the other hand, processes such as the spontaneous release of neurotransmitters cannot be completely ruled out.[8]

So just what does it know? Not much. Here are among the many qualifications and hedges I find in the language:

"could be explained by assuming"

"implies that they are caused by"

"implies that the half life . . . is"

"supports the explanation"

"cannot be completely ruled out"

You should try it sometime for about a half an hour (sitting in the pitch dark with your eyes open). It's a good contemplation practice used by Dzogchen. I use it myself sometimes.

Tell me if you can figure out what's going on.

Apr 28, 2013 - 08:17pm PT
(John was patient. I would have answered Dr. F.'s three upstream questions with: "nil," "nil," and "nil.")

Why does everything have to be achievement-oriented? It's a sickness and a sign of delusion in my book. No body's doing anything anyway. IT is doing them. I think it was Ramesh Balsekar who said that no universe could operate with any precision if billions of organisms had autonomy and free will as they think they do.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 08:21pm PT
I agree MikeL.
There is no end game, so why bother.
Why not just live life here and now, right?

What will spending 40 years in a Monastery under a master teacher get you?
Nothing, you will die in the end just like the ant you smashed earlier that day.

Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
To continue the story of my spiritual path from the 80s to now. It does deal with enlightenment.
At this time, I had questions, and was starting to use critical thinking about these issues.

So I'm studying religions, and the end game is supposedly enlightenment, so why not study enlightenment directly, right? to find out more about it.

So I check into it, and what do you know, It is questionable if it Even exists!!!
You would think if it was the goal of all humanity, people would be achieving it on a regular basis, and least there would some one to talk to and study.
It turns out that no one can confirm if they are enlightened or not, there are no ready available examples, there are no studies, some people may say they are, but are they?
I've read quite a bit from people that say they are, but are they?, from their books, they seem normal, not ego-less, there was no great change or manifestation that took place. They are just more peaceful, and have little or no desire.
But they also live in a Monastery, live a sheltered boring life of meditation, chanting and rice. Do I want that? hell no.

The enlightenement they achieved wasn't really the end, everything is still the same for them on the outside, they don't have all the knowledge of the universe at their finger tips, they don't talk to god, they can't levitate, they still want sex.

So since enlightenment is not really the goal in life, and there is no end game, life has no purpose, you can see why I have no interest in going along with JL on his spiritual path.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Apr 28, 2013 - 08:51pm PT
Thanks Dr. F. Now I have a question for you. Did you ever study under a so called master and if so which one(s). Also, have you studied the lives of any of the masters - not all of whom live in monastaries? Thanks.
Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 08:52pm PT
No. I never studied under a master.
I read what the masters had to say.

I took some meditation lessons at some New Age fair or something a couple times, but I learned to do it mostly myself, from books and talking to other folks about it.
Just like how I learned to climb, do 5.12+ cactus, and tele ski 5.12b chutes
and how I learned to do my job as an Air Pollution Chemist.
There were no masters that I studied under.

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Apr 28, 2013 - 09:03pm PT
How about this, Craig. I have a friend, a Zen master up in Idylwild. He runs the Mountain Zen Center. He's British and you'll have no problem understanding him and he'll have all kinds of funny things to say to you when you inform him that he's entirely delusional about his life and his practice following others who have been entirely delusional for going on 2,500 years.

If you agree to go to a seshin up there, an intense 7 day retreat where you do nothing but sit in zazen, and have interviews with the teacher, and otherwise do not talk at all, I will pay for it.

I guarantee he will not bite you or try and cajole you into a cult.

Here's a few informal words from him (Charles Tenshin Fletcher) from a few weeks ago:


Dr. F.

Big Wall climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 28, 2013 - 09:17pm PT
We were all deusional about the earth being flat or that demons cause sickness for 100s of thousands of years,
The years being delusional don't really matter, now do they.

Thanks, But no thanks, I think my time will be better spent doing the Flower of High Rank and Super Pooper.
Or maybe even better would me staying home and hangin with my cactus.

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:00pm PT
How do u guys even define enlightenment? Or describe it ?
The way you guys have been talking, you don't even know what enlightenment means to an individual.

I gathered inlightenment to mean, when you live your life a certain way because of what you believe; and then you learn a truth to curb your believe enough to change your behavior. THAT'S ENLIGHTENMENT !

Back to language..

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:07pm PT
There's been some real honest language going on hear, and I applaud it!!!
I'm sorry some have dropped out because it's "wierd". That's to bad !!
Their the ones that really need it!!!
But to those that are steadfast, your enlightenment is coming quick!!

Social climber
joshua tree
Apr 28, 2013 - 10:15pm PT
No. I never studied under a master.

Yea, and you've never studied the Bible from a master.
And ur certainly not a 5.12 Bible thumper.
Yet you still have a large negative voice against it?
What gives?????

Hebrews 1:3
Apr 29, 2013 - 07:24am PT
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Luke 3: 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

John 4:25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”

Matthew 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

John 3:13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 14:1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.

John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

...are you just killing time or living for eternity!
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