Life after death

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Re: Life after death

Postby Kelly Jones » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:02 pm

Alex wrote:The positive side of your prophetic calling is that it demands that people get very much more serious about their human lives in relation to God. But I have felt that your radical separation from culture and society seems skewed.

Is it skewed to value quality of life?

I go to philosophical discussions, and engage in philosophical conversations when the opportunity arises, in my city.

I notice how some faces brighten and how some people grow lively, when engaging in these conversations. It is like they feel only pain and suffering in normal social activities, and are literally liberated by destroying the barrier between their thoughts and what they express publicly.

I'd say normal culture and society represents the lowest quality of life to these people. It's sterile, demoralising, boring, and narrow-minded. Probably they have a feeling that normal culture and society is actually destroying their lives. A lot of them are coming out of the cracks these days.

Just yesterday a librarian noticed my library records show I've borrowed lots of books by Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens, so he eagerly launched into his opinion of their writings and debate styles. He said he'd read everything on my list. I hadn't said anything to prompt him, I was just asking to renew my loan.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:26 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
Kevin Solway wrote:Can you give me an example of some things that Jesus has said about God that would not fit with the interpretation of God as being the All of Nature?
Well all the 'miracles' for a start.

I think the miracles are just traditional stories that were inserted into the record by some fool. Keep in mind that a great many of the stories used in the New Testament were copied directly from Judaism and other religions of the time, sometimes almost verbatim.

On the other hand, it may have been that Jesus was some kind of charlatan, like the evangelical priests in the U.S. But in my judgement Jesus showed a lot more philosophical depth and mettle than any evangelical priest.

How could Jesus (assuming he was the son of God) make a special exception to the laws of nature

I don't think he did. The miracles are just the stories of fools.

Theres any number of examples in the Bible where God 'acts upon' the earth.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"; Does Jesus every contradict this misconception by the Hebrews?

Let's interpret "the heavens" as "enlightnment" or "nirvana" (the realm of wisdom and truth), and "the earth" as "samsara" (the realm of ignorance and untruth). So we have nirvana and samsara, consciousness and unconsciousness, and together they make up the Totality, or God, which is their source.

So if you interpret it this way, then its just poetic language, and not necessarily a misconception.

James 5 :11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Since when does nature show mercy?

Firstly, we have to be careful of what may have been lost in translation from the original language in which it was written. Words such as "pity" and "mercy" can very easily lose shades of meaning when translated from one language into another, and many people aren't clear about what these words mean even in their own language, let alone how to translate them into another language.

They may have been saying that effects are always in accordance with their causes. If you do what is right, the end result will not be bad. And if you do what is wrong, you will be doing so because that is what you were caused to do. It's not your fault, and Nature "knows" this. The wise know this.

It is a common thing to personalize Nature. For example, we often hear people speak of "Mother Nature." I think Jesus was doing the same kind of thing.
You're entitled to think that. Personally i can't see the logic in it though.

Jesus probably didn't refer to God as a person very often. We don't know, since we know virtually nothing about his life or his teachings.

Since the Bible was composed by relatively foolish people, they would have a prefererence for the more foolish forms of expression.

The more wise expressions of Truth, such as those found in the Gospel of Thomas, were thought to be unfit for inclusion in the Bible.

When Jesus goes into the wilderness for forty days to commune with his Father, is it not obvious that he is attempting to reconnect to Nature?
Sure. But what seeker, philosopher, thinker hasn't sought out quiet time to collects his thoughts. This is not evidence he considers God IS nature.

Consider the following from the Gospel of Thomas:

Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you."

Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the All. From me did the All come forth, & unto me did the All come forth, & unto me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, & I am there. Lift up the stone, & you will find me there."
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ataraxia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:07 pm

Thanks for going to the trouble Kevin,but i don't really buy it.

It seems to me you are doing what many a theist has done over the millenia---some wise some unwise(I'm happy to put you in the former category.)

You decide what is true for yourself(which is good obviously)but then back engineer into the Bible and decry, look Jesus was wise we just have to arrange the vernacular a little.

Classic example:
Kevin Solway wrote:
Let's interpret "the heavens" as "enlightnment" or "nirvana" (the realm of wisdom and truth), and "the earth" as "samsara" (the realm of ignorance and untruth). So we have nirvana and samsara, consciousness and unconsciousness, and together they make up the Totality, or God, which is their source.

So if you interpret it this way, then its just poetic language, and not necessarily a misconception.
You worked out all of the above for yourself,so what need of Jesus? I don't see the need for the appeal to him.Some may even consider it an appeal to authority.

When ever he is speaking wisdom it's his words,but whenever it's nonesense (or something that doesn't accord with ones own philosophy) then it was put in the Gospel by fools Post Hoc.

James 5 :11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

Since when does nature show mercy?

Kevin : Firstly, we have to be careful of what may have been lost in translation from the original language in which it was written. Words such as "pity" and "mercy" can very easily lose shades of meaning when translated from one language into another, and many people aren't clear about what these words mean even in their own language, let alone how to translate them into another language.

They may have been saying that effects are always in accordance with their causes. If you do what is right, the end result will not be bad. And if you do what is wrong, you will be doing so because that is what you were caused to do. It's not your fault, and Nature "knows" this. The wise know this.
Well sure .Buit a regular reading of it doesn't say that at all.The average Xian wouldn't read it like that ,would they.Who knows the 'real' Jesus? Everyone claims they do.

Kevin
Consider the following from the Gospel of Thomas:

Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the Kingdom of God is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you."

Jesus said, "It is I who am the light which is above them all. It is I who am the All. From me did the All come forth, & unto me did the All come forth, & unto me did the All extend. Split a piece of wood, & I am there. Lift up the stone, & you will find me there."

Yeah, fair enough. The Gospel of Thomas is a favorite with the Gnostics. But lets face it, one can fossick through the Bible, and if looks hard enough make it say almost anything.

Hell, those new big churches in Sydney I've watched a couple of times on the Foxtel's Xian channel ( Hillsong? ) could make one believe getting as rich as possible is what Jesus wants from us.

The New Testament is so damn contradictory and obtuse that one has to imbue their own interpretation upon it constantly.

Personally I've found more utility in 2 or 3 paragraphs by Nietzsche, or a chat between Socrates and Euthyphro on the steps on the court than the entire Bible.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ataraxia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:19 pm

Just take this for a fairly random example,Kevin

Matthew 24 : 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

In one short passage Jesus, if read in regular fashion, expresses

-belief in angels
-belief in a 'heavan'
-belief in a creator and destroy God
-belief in the Noahs Ark story as if it were literally true.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby mikiel » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:12 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
Ryan Rudolph wrote:By my calculations – a 50% possibility. Because we have no way of knowing what happens at death, and so there are only two possibilities – continuity or no continuity. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

By my reckoning, the chance that consciousness survives death is only about 0.000001%, because there's plenty of evidence that our consciousness is dependent on physical brain structures, and the brain dies with the body. And we have no evidence of anything else taking over the functioning of the brain when it dies.


Here is the instance of that millionth of a percent chance. It is known to the enlighetened, in God-Consciousness, which is omnipresent and eternal but unknown to those still suffering from the illuusion of personal identity and its supposed 'possession' "my consciousness."
Consciuousness (the One in all) transcends all forms, all individuals.
We all partake of It, but It is not dependent on any of the fagile and temporary forms of manifestation. They (we, individualy) all die. Cosnsciousness is eternal.
It is humorous that a founder of a forum, the purpose of which is:
"Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment " does not know this.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:19 pm

Ataraxia wrote:
Let's interpret "the heavens" as "enlightnment" or "nirvana" (the realm of wisdom and truth), and "the earth" as "samsara" (the realm of ignorance and untruth). So we have nirvana and samsara, consciousness and unconsciousness, and together they make up the Totality, or God, which is their source.

So if you interpret it this way, then its just poetic language, and not necessarily a misconception.
You worked out all of the above for yourself,so what need of Jesus?

There's no need of the Jesus of the Bible, but the Jesus of the Gnostic scriptures is more useful, though not essential.

I don't see the need for the appeal to him.

Sometimes it can be useful to quote people who you think are wise.

They may have been saying that effects are always in accordance with their causes. If you do what is right, the end result will not be bad. And if you do what is wrong, you will be doing so because that is what you were caused to do. It's not your fault, and Nature "knows" this. The wise know this.
Well sure. Buit a regular reading of it doesn't say that at all. The average Xian wouldn't read it like that, would they.

No, but that's not my problem.

The New Testament is so damn contradictory and obtuse that one has to imbue their own interpretation upon it constantly.

It's extremely poorly conceived and extremely poorly written. No doubt about it.


Just take this for a fairly random example,Kevin

Matthew 24 : 36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven,[e] but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

In one short passage Jesus, if read in regular fashion, expresses

-belief in angels
-belief in a 'heavan'
-belief in a creator and destroy God
-belief in the Noahs Ark story as if it were literally true.

Yeah. I'd really have my work cut out for me to try and extract any truth of value out of that one.

One could, however, interpret it this way:

One doesn't know when or if one will ever see the highest truth. This will be determined only by cause and effect, or by Nature itself. You may achieve the breakthrough tomorrow, for all you know, and unexpectedly. So don't give up trying, and be ready and receptive for that moment when it all comes together.

On the whole though, it may be that the amount of work necessary to extract any truth out of the Christian scriptures is barely worth the effort, and if you are wise enough to do so you'd probably be better off doing something else with your time.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kelly Jones » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:22 pm

A thought on Ataraxia's point about Jesus' writings.

The whole problem in communicating about wisdom is the attachment to concepts and the things they create as if they are really, quite literally there. For instance, when a wise man says, "I", most people would think he is talking about his human organism's self. So he has to use a dialectic, to show that he's talking about his true self. Thus, "my heavenly self", or "the all", or "the essence of Mind", or "the eternal soul". Unfortunately, people take these concepts to literally mean inherently existing things in alternative planes of existence, metaphysical realities somewhere else than right here and now. They turn them into poetic realities.

I think a skilled communicator should be able to exploit any form, any medium, in order to talk about the Infinite. Poetry, parable, satire, science fiction, music, prose, standup comedy, whatever - so as to confound those who wish to turn the Truth into something.

Mikiel's notion of consciousness is an example of an alternative plane of existence, separate to things. He is one of those rigidly-fixed minds incapable of perceiving the eternal formlessness of all that surrounds us. He is stuck with a word "consciousness" and cannot conceive of alternative meanings.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ataraxia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:22 pm

Kelly Jones wrote:A thought on Ataraxia's point about Jesus' writings.

The whole problem in communicating about wisdom is the attachment to concepts and the things they create as if they are really, quite literally there. For instance, when a wise man says, "I", most people would think he is talking about his human organism's self. So he has to use a dialectic, to show that he's talking about his true self. Thus, "my heavenly self", or "the all", or "the essence of Mind", or "the eternal soul". Unfortunately, people take these concepts to literally mean inherently existing things in alternative planes of existence, metaphysical realities somewhere else than right here and now. They turn them into poetic realities.

There is another alternative though, Kelly.Maybe Jesus actually believed in "inherently existing things in alternative planes of existence"

At best Paul did,I would say.But as you and Kevin would have it,Paul may have got Jesus wrong.Who could ever really know.
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Re: Videos and criticisms

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:07 pm

mikiel wrote:Consciousness is eternal.

Does this "consciousness" of which you speak exist when there is no conscious being in the Universe?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:17 pm

Ataraxia wrote:But as you and Kevin would have it, Paul may have got Jesus wrong.

Kierkegaard reckoned that Jesus's message had already petered out and died by the time Paul came along. For example, Jesus took his whole life to convert only a few people over to his way of thinking, and even of those it is questionable how much they really understood, since Jesus would criticize them for being useless since they couldn't understand some of his most basic teachings. By contrast, Paul would reportedly convert thousands of people after only about twenty minutes.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kelly Jones » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:19 pm

I think Kevin's idea is more likely to be true, ie. Jesus' disciples were unreliable. Maybe Thomas and Judas were the best of the bunch. As you say, Ataraxia, who could ever know. But my hunch is that Jesus did exist, had a strong influence on a few blokes, and these influenced others. A small flavour of this is still present in the Bible, but more noticeably in the 'secret' gospels.

It's a sobering reminder, that the wise are ever few, and that simple language from the wise is rarely understood. If one compromises in any area, that will be the Achilles' heel in one's legacy.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:43 am

I sit here cowering under the very Heavens themselves, fearful that Brother Diebert will heap ire upon me for speaking out of turn, and so ignorantly, but 'from what I have gathered so far', a good percentage of the 'secret' or apocryphal gospels are not held in such high esteem by scholars interested in a 'factual picture' of the historical Jesus (which Jesus may or may not have bearing on the validity or 'truth' of some of their doctrines and beliefs). These apocrypha would more than likely attract the imagination of QRS insofar as they support all sorts of inner realizations, a kind of mysticism commensurate with portions of their 'enlightenment' doctrines, etc. 'From what I have read' most of these apocrypha were later documents read and passed around within small Christian cults. Also form what I have read (you, Diebert, you Satan! you have made me so unnecessarily cautious in what I write!) most of them are not taken seriously as documents that shed light on the historical personage of Jesus, but rather obscure things further.

Apocrypha

And at the same time the fact that such outrageous stories were concocted and given expression in apocrypha, points in the direction of the need for a strong critical gaze on the 'other-worldly' tones in the standard Gospels.

Also, 'from what I have gathered so far', the Gospels we are familiar with were essentially 'preaching documents' that were used in certain cultural contexts to make converts to the cause. They could be loosely compared with the preaching documents of the Hari Krishnas, replete with cartoons depicting the activities of the incarnations of Krishna, all in a neat package for child-minds to muse on and accept. As Kevin says, whatever mission this man Jesus had was likely disfigured by zealous 'fools'. (Yet, the same process is expressed by Hindu Tantric texts, and the 'child-minds' need certain sorts of images upon which their imaginations can attach to). At that time people responded to certain kinds of ideas about a Divine teacher, a Divine Prophet, a God-man born of a virgin, a God-man with a gifted, miraculous childhood, a God-man who performed impossible healings, a man whose actions were seconded by the world itself, or God-through-the-world, in the form of atmospheric phenomena and all the rest.

The criteria, Kelly, through which Jesus was understood and accepted was unlike anything you or I might ask for today, so it is not quite possible to speak of reliability and unreliability. You assume, more or less, a teacher of enlightenment who gave a teaching that was misunderstood by the disciples and distorted. You come along and correctly interpret it back to what it was originally, and I think you can see how absurd this is. The nature of belief seemed to function under different terms. Primary assumptions about the structure of the world were radically different.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:16 am

Alex Jacob wrote:a good percentage of the 'secret' or apocryphal gospels are not held in such high esteem by scholars interested in a 'factual picture' of the historical Jesus

That's because there's very little focus on historical facts in the Gnostic texts. These texts are more concerned with wisdom.

'From what I have read' most of these apocrypha were later documents

All the books in the New Testament are "later documents" in the sense that each book wasn't compiled until generations after Jesus had died. All the gospels, ie, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were written anonymously, and the names given to them are made up.

The nature of belief seemed to function under different terms. Primary assumptions about the structure of the world were radically different.

I don't think much has changed over the last two thousand years. People are just as mindless and superstitious, and they are mindless and superstitious in exactly the same ways.

For this reason, just as we were able to correct the flaws in the Hubble space telescope, by computing what was causing the distortion, I think we know enough about what is causing the distortion in the teachings of Jesus to be able to do a good job of making a correction of sorts.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:38 am

That may be so, but the 'wisdom' they express may have had nothing to do with the historical figure of Jesus and what he, himself, in his context, was in fact teaching. There is an inflowing of many different strains of knowledge (gnosis) that get channeled into the Christian teachings and placed in the mouth of a scriptural Jesus.

"All the books in the New Testament are "later documents" in the sense that each book wasn't compiled until generations after Jesus had died. All the gospels, ie, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were written anonymously, and the names given to them are made up."

Well, 40 0r 50 years before a formal Gospel came into existence, I guess that is 1 or 2 generations but not 'many'. But as you know texts in more primitive forms existed, lists of parables, etc. (Are inferred to have existed). But yes, as most seem to know and agree, all the Gospels are later documents and are not 'histories' like Greek or Roman histories. But, from what I have read so far, most place greater credibility in the earlier documents, the extant documents, and have based 'the historical Jesus' on what they ferret-out from those docs. Some of the later apocrypha begins to go into orbit...

"For this reason, just as we were able to correct the flaws in the Hubble space telescope, by computing what was causing the distortion, I think we know enough about what is causing the distortion in the teachings of Jesus to be able to do a good job of making a correction of sorts."

I do see your point, of course, but your 'reverse engineering' may not be accurate, and may not take into consideration certain possibilities that are not possible for you, not entertainable as possibilities. You will therefor reverse engineer him to be a Chinese sage of sorts, with a Zen teaching, and will disregard what may have been the major emphasis of the Jewish Jesus---the social commitment. Also, I don't think you have any way to deal with the unsettling possibility of a Prophet of God, because your 'God' is static and unconscious. There can be no such thing as a 'seeding' of human consciousness that is part-and-parcel of the Jewish story.

Also, I don't think you have at your conceptual disposal any means to deal with, to entertain, any portion of the mystical side to the teachings that have arisen around the Christ figure, though this is contradicted because, in your way, you do express a kind of mysticism.

For example:

(From Anna): "Jesus taught unconditional love, radical forgiveness, and man's reconciliation with the Father through understanding the goodness of God and through the quickening of the spiritual faculty through contact with the Holy Spirit."

You can only apprehend such a statement if you redefine the terms, if you reinterpret it. But, I assume, for Anna, the Holy Spirit is a 'real thing', an aspect of an existential mystery. There is no similar existential mystery or potency in your doctrines, that would be 'delusional'. Yet, you piggy-back as it were your meanings, and intentions, onto the idea of the Trinity. You defeat 'magic' on one area yet it pops up in other ways, but ways that are satisfying to you. So, your teachings are both watered-down even as they are buttered-up.

And most importantly, for you, Jesus did not French kiss Mary Magdalena, which is patently absurd if you know the Truth as I know it...
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:10 am

Given that some of the recent Quinn-Solway definitions have surprised even some of the hard-core believers, and some of these definitions allow for open-ends, I am curious how you'd respond to the concept of 'prayer'.

Our minds take place in a strange stuff that, at the least, Quinn will not come right out and define. Like, what is this matter? If it is not matter, not consciousness, not spirit---then what is it? Kevin has alluded to a metaphysical dimension in our mind, and mentioned, at least for Westerners, the psychological 'realm', but without defining its limits. Also, Kevin is big on lack of clear defining limits between objects, and the question arises, in relation to mind, just what are the defining limits? Then again, we have the Solway definition of 'soul', and this soul that is the matrix for our own consciousness. It is getting a little misty here, methinks.

My question is the following, is prayer a real tool within the life of a sage? If I say that I believe that when I pray the world around me responds, or 'can respond', is this idea delusional? If human mind is less limited than pure materialism allows, can minds communicate between each other, extrasensorily? It seems it would either be a definitive 'no' or a definitive 'yes'. There should be =no gray area, no 'maybe' or 'possibly'.

In my metaphysic, something that I feel I have 'proven', prayer indeed works. I could bend some of your loose definitions and attempt a description of mechanism, but I am curious how you would respond to this question.

By 'prayer works' I mean that a prayer, which I suppose you;d have to describe as a sort of concentration of energy or will, proceeds from me into the world around me, and causes a response in the world around me. The response can come in many, many different forms, but always with a sort of 'tag' of energy that reminds me of the prayer that preceded it.

For example, though there are many. If someone, after praying, felt a mysterious and insistent wind blowing on him through an open window, could you in your metaphysic understand that 'wind' as being a manifestation of a living spirit, of some sort, in response to this 'energy activity' or 'supplication'? Or, would you consider the making of a connection between the prayer and the event a 'deluded perception'?

(If 'prayer' doesn't float your boat, how about 'will' or 'intention'?)
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Re: Life after death

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:35 am

Alex Jacob wrote:I have been reading Jewish material for 20 years and though I never undertook it to become an expert, I do feel I can say at least a little something about it.

Jewish Material. It has such awesome ring to it, for sharper, pointy ears.

As to QRS, there is nothing too complex in what I have recently said about their Christian under-structure. It is something I noted right at the beginning.


Noting is one thing, pretty easy, interpreting the note is another.

They have a deep connection to this 'under-structure' though it seems that they deny it or aren't aware of it.


It's possible they are not aware of the specifics but it's also not that important, only perhaps to butterfly collectors and taxidermists. There's something of that in me which makes it easier to relate to your questions.

Where I part ways with them, and where I think something more Jewish asserts itself, is in their severing themselves from the human body, from social connection. In that sense---and this is something I don't understand very well---they remind me of Christian desert ascetics.


Then part with them but be aware you're still upholding your own religious belief in the holiness of the social body of human connectivity and its brown pleasures that relieves it from anxieties building up too high.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:37 am

Alex Jacob wrote: but 'from what I have gathered so far', a good percentage of the 'secret' or apocryphal gospels are not held in such high esteem by scholars interested in a 'factual picture' of the historical Jesus


Which is a meaningless statement since these scholars also know that the canonical gospels were never selected on criteria having anything to do with the historicity of Jesus, at the time they were selected.

It's no wonder apocryphal material is held in low esteem, the label itself already implies these are rather obscure works with originally lower readership, fringe, with veils of secrecy around it, like all occult teachings had for ages (and perhaps for a reason). Many of it read like fairy tails, conspiracy, 'paranormal' stuff, even more so than the canon!

Then again, most 'esteemed' scholars long and pine for the 'lost' Q document, which must have been a written source used by the canonical 'accepted' gospels, which has to have been structured as a list of sayings, rather like the gospel of Thomas (hinting at the idea that this gospel, at least in structure might be more authentic).

But when all is said and done, the scholars are not agreeing about much at all. There's no consensus that I know of, although some consensus is claimed by factions. As it stands the question of Jesus having existed at all is still seriously questioned, let alone the discussion about which detail might be true or not.

In that light, opinions like those phrased by Kevin are sane, supported by at least some evidence and say yourself: what do you think makes more sense: Jesus being a thinker or writer whose words made it more or less into various works, or, a more literal, magical, mystery interpretation. Even if any 'wisdom' perceived in the gospels would be purely random and projected (which scholars would hurry to point out is not: the wit, cynicism and psychology is of a rather unusual standard when the text and context are disassembled) it still would serve a goal as mirror, as teaching device rather well.

A bold selection, a distilling of some existential truths out of these works would be the best option, next to ignoring it all.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:12 am

If you have spent so much time on these subjects, why is it that you never really have anything at all vibrant and alive to say about them, my tired, uninspired, European friend?

Arise, Diebert, take up thy bed and walk!

What you have done in your post, above, is to trot-out a selection of basic stuff that anyone who reads the first Wikipedia article that comes their way can know.

And these are the treasures you hold in abeyance? Are you holding back so you can slowly, erotically, dole them out?

I want my fucking money back, you...scribe!

Parables of Jesus

"He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
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Clouds that look like breasts (see photo)

Postby Tomas » Sat Aug 23, 2008 7:38 am

.


David Quinn wrote:I personally think the clouds in the sky above me will reincarnate and be born again in other skies ......

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Clouds that look like breasts (see photo)

-snip-
The bobbly clouds that make this image so startling are called mammatus clouds - a name derived from the Latin word for breast, they hang under the main body of other clouds.
While the whole cloud might measure 0.5 of a mile (0.8km) across, each mammatus cloud or "udder" is several metres wide.


see photo:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7574684.stm


.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Steven Coyle » Sat Aug 23, 2008 8:44 am

After reading this,

Commercial of mother... golden jug of milk... wholesome.

Mom's cooked a healthy meal (what I wished for last night while eating hemp cereal).

Shrooms, barley, etc.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:57 am

Alex Jacob wrote:If you have spent so much time on these subjects, why is it that you never really have anything at all vibrant and alive to say about them, my tired, uninspired, European friend?

Aren't you yet tired of playing with vibrators? Aren't you bored yet? You're not bored enough, it seems to me. You haven't perfected the art of boredom with the mundane.

What you have done in your post, above, is to trot-out a selection of basic stuff that anyone who reads the first Wikipedia article that comes their way can know.

Hmm, perhaps, maybe, those articles (if one's lucky) contain a good summary of what's basically known out there? And perhaps these things I knew long since before you were hooked on Internet?

And these are the treasures you hold in abeyance? Are you holding back so you can slowly, erotically, dole them out?

The kind of treasures you seem to desire are better kept away from you. I think you need to go on a strict diet, rehab clinic of the mind. Such suffering might be too much though, basically you're too old now although I doubt your admitted age. You tell awfully little about yourself, for someone who is so interested in the personal dimensions.

"He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Meaning you don't have to know everything, Alex, just the most important things like the innocence of sleep and some understanding of the cycle of seasons. Timing is everything.

# Mat 13:44
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

What an egoist! Such disconnect from life, the social network, participation - all for that stupid field with a treasure which isn't even valuated yet by any mob official!
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Sat Aug 23, 2008 10:33 am

THIS IS WAR!! I will..I...(oh shit) I...I forgive you your sins and trespasses, Diebert, you Satan-in-miniature.

"You haven't perfected the art of boredom with the mundane".

What I have not perfected is a disassociation with the necessity of service to people. At least I hope not.

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field".

It's funny you selected this one, it has a deep and abiding meaning for me, something I can't shake. As a matter of fact, to be truthful, the sense of it is pretty much behind much of what I write. Now you're turning into an Angel of Inspiration!

Oh Bless thee! Bless thee!

I am pretty sure we interpret this in a radically different matter.

"The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come".

Your interpretation seemed so shallow! I see this as having to do with unseen beings who cultivate us, who operate through our own consciousness in indescribable ways. At certain times in our life 'seeds' are introduced by beings who take an exquisite delight in cultivating their 'garden'. They come to fruition of their own accord, in a weird process that no one really understands, since it is all carried on behind the scenes, from a vantage point of which we have no knowledge---no rememberance.
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Re: Life after death

Postby David Quinn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:05 am

That gave me a chuckle. Alex believes that constantly hopping from branch to branch and chattering like an excited monkey is an expression of vitality and life .....

A sure sign that one's own inner existence is sterile and lifeless is the need to keep looking endlessly outwards - in books, in religions, in theories, in people, in guides - for inspiration. Or worse, to find refuge in them.

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Re: Life after death

Postby David Quinn » Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:28 am

Alex Jacob wrote:"The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come".

Your interpretation seemed so shallow! I see this as having to do with unseen beings who cultivate us, who operate through our own consciousness in indescribable ways. At certain times in our life 'seeds' are introduced by beings who take an exquisite delight in cultivating their 'garden'. They come to fruition of their own accord, in a weird process that no one really understands, since it is all carried on behind the scenes, from a vantage point of which we have no knowledge---no rememberance.

Yeah, well, coming back to planet earth, I would interpret that passage as meaning that once you plant the seeds of understanding and wisdom in your own mind, they start to take on a life of their own. They propel you down a path with a certain force of momentum, increasingly affecting your thought-processes and choices, with thousands of delusions falling away naturally, until one day you suddenly realize that you are enlightened.


"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field".

Enlightenment, a bottomless source of riches, can only be found and enjoyed when one sacrifices everything for it.

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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:12 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:I don't think you have any way to deal with the unsettling possibility of a Prophet of God, because your 'God' is static and unconscious.

Just because God is unconscious doesn't mean that there can't be a Prophet of God. Such a Prophet is a person who reveals God.

There can be no such thing as a 'seeding' of human consciousness that is part-and-parcel of the Jewish story.

That might be the story of some Jewish people, but not all. Spinoza would differ. Not all people believe these stories in the literal sense.

Also, I don't think you have at your conceptual disposal any means to deal with, to entertain, any portion of the mystical side to the teachings that have arisen around the Christ figure, though this is contradicted because, in your way, you do express a kind of mysticism.

For example:

(From Anna): "Jesus taught unconditional love, radical forgiveness, and man's reconciliation with the Father through understanding the goodness of God and through the quickening of the spiritual faculty through contact with the Holy Spirit."

Without understanding, all of that is just empty words. It is magical thinking, rather than mystical.

An equally "mystical" statement might be: "The Wondrous Teapot in the Sky taught unconditional love, radical forgiveness, and man's reconciliation with the Tea-leaf through understanding the goodness of the Invisible Pink Unicorn and through the quickening of the spiritual faculty through contact with the Holy Invisible and Unknown Spirit."

Now many people might be transported into fantastic religious experiences because of these words, and have their lives transformed by them, but it's all mumbo-jumbo and nonsense just the same.

You can only apprehend such a statement if you redefine the terms, if you reinterpret it.

I don't "redefine" what words like "God" and "Father" mean, but rather I reject the definitions of others and supply my own. I could only "redefine" a word if I accepted another definition as valid.

Likewise, you can't "reinterpret" something unless you accepted another interpretation as valid in the first place.

There is no similar existential mystery or potency in your doctrines

That's because your eyes are shut.

My question is the following, is prayer a real tool within the life of a sage?

It depends what you mean by "prayer." A sage bathes in the waters of truth and breathes the air of of truth. That is his prayer.

If I say that I believe that when I pray the world around me responds, or 'can respond', is this idea delusional?

To the degree that you are delusional, your prayer will be delusional.

Every cause has an effect, so anything you do will have an effect on the world around you, no matter whether you pray, curse, or fantasize.

If human mind is less limited than pure materialism allows, can minds communicate between each other, extrasensorily?

A "sense" is that which receives. So it wouldn't be possible to receive a communication from another without a sense of some sort.

For example, though there are many. If someone, after praying, felt a mysterious and insistent wind blowing on him through an open window, could you in your metaphysic understand that 'wind' as being a manifestation of a living spirit, of some sort, in response to this 'energy activity' or 'supplication'? Or, would you consider the making of a connection between the prayer and the event a 'deluded perception'?

There would obviously be a connection between the "praying"/willing and the "wind." But this connection may be entirely within the mind of the person.
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