LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Some partial backups of posts from the past (Feb, 2004)

Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:47 pm

Peter Bowes wrote:God is conscious of God's Self and completely perfect in God's awareness of God's own being.

The problem with this is that it is logically impossible.

There are two ways that we can prove that it is logically impossible for God to be conscious: firstly by examining what consciousness is, and secondly by examining what God is.

Consciousness is precisely an awareness of "things". It is an awareness of "self" and "other". In the case of God there is no "other", and consequently there can be no consciousness.

Secondly, as to what God is: God is the All, the Totality of all things. Consequently it is not a "thing", and as such it cannot be said to possess any quality such as consciousness, or blue shoes, or whatever.

Just as a human being can be aware of itself, so can God

A human being is only aware of itself through contrast with other things. In the case of a human being there are other things, and therefore the human being can be aware of itself.

But the self can never be aware of itself directly, for the same reason that a fingertip cannot touch itself.

And that's why God is not conscious. God is like a fingertip that cannot touch itself.


If you say that since God is all, then God cannot be conscious of God's Self, then you attribute a limitation to God that is not possible for God.

God cannot break the laws of logic. For example, God cannot be other than what it is. In this manner, even God is limited. God cannot be evil. There are countless ways, like this, in which God is limited. All these limitations of God stem from God's inability to break the laws of logic - primarily the law of identity.

God's consciousness is different from ours in that God is big and we are little.

If this were true, and if God's consciousness were essentially the same as ours but somehow better, or even the best, then God would simply be a kind of powerful alien being, and not deserving of any respect beyond what we would give any other object in the Universe.

But as I explained above, since God is the All, it is not something that can have consciousness - for logical reasons.

God is the creator and we are the created.

Replace the word "God" with "Nature" - since I define Nature, also, to be the All.

And we have: "Nature is the creator and we are the created."

Do you see how that really makes a lot more sense, and is much more full of meaning?

Human beings were created as souls and not merely as an instinctual species.

A pity we don't see that in practice.

Whatever intelligence created human beings to have souls obviously didn't do a very good job of it!

That primates forms resembled human beings is no proof that they changed one day into human beings.

The fact that we share about 99% of our genetic make-up with chimpanzees should give you a good indication that we are very closely related.

Of course, no scientist claims that we evolved from chimps, but that we share a common ancestor. It is just like two brothers who share the same parent and where one brother is intelligent and the other is not.

Humans were a unique creation made in God's image and likeness, not physically, but spiritually. We are creative and made to be responsible for the earth and everything on it.

In reality, human beings are extremely stupid, narrow minded, petty, lying, cheating, blind, lazy, and insane.

Some human beings may have potential to become truthful, and a very few are truthful - but that's all we can say for human beings.

Jesus himself had a very low opinion of humanity:

"What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight." - Luke 16: 15

"The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil." - John 7: 7

Peter, I think you have tried to wed the Buddhist idea of an unconscious underlying Reality (Buddha-nature), with the traditional Christian idea of a conscious, personal creator. But you have failed.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:55 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:Despite the fact that I haven't read your doctrines in any depth, nevertheless I think I understand them, and I think this is because a certain current of intellect, worldwide, tends in this direction.

I'm not sure I agree with you. Some people are abandoning extremely foolish religious notions after being made to look stupid by the findings of science, etc. But I don't see people abandoning their egos and their will to the All - not by any means.

I have no hard evidence and know of no way to have any hard evidence that I could present to you or anyone else to 'prove' my points, because this experience is subjective.

Experiences themselves can't be argued with. If I hear a voice then I'm definitely hearing a voice. But if I then interpret that I did not create the voice in my imagination, then I am leaving myself wide open for error.

I also expect that your experience (your knowledge, your understanding, your 'mental ordering') is subjective, unless you were truly to base it in naturalism, for example brain chemistry, molecular biology and dissciplines of this sort. If this were the case, your metaphor of being like unto a fountain could be explained in purely chemical terms, it seems to me.

Every person's experience is subjective. This is a matter of definition.

Science is not interested in the Big Picture of Nature. It seeks only to make some kind of order out of the details.

"Some people try to peep at the heavens through a tube, or aim at the earth with an awl. These implements are too small for the purpose." - Taoist saying

. . . there is no reason whatever why anyone should believe that you either 'know the Truth', and one therefor qualifies your statements, as we qualify all statements, and simply note that you are making an effort.

A person could only know that I know the Truth if they themselves knew the Truth. By contrast, a person living in darkness can only grope around in the dark.

I just do not accept the term Truth that you use so frequently. Obviously, that stems from a core idea I presented earlier: all descriptions, it seems to me, are allusions, semblences, similies perhaps.

If that were true, it would be an absolute truth, and would be part of the Truth of which I speak.

The object, the word, cannot be confused with the 'thing' that is being referred to, which is beyond language

It depends how you use language. If you use language only in the sense of pointing, then you do not confuse the word with the thing that is being pointed to. For example, you do not confuse the finger which is pointing at the moon, with the moon itself.


And because all this religious mystification, all these attempts to place in a vessel (or language, or of symbol) the deepest sort of excperience about being is always a metaphor, no one seems to be able to stake a claim to a final description, a cohesive doctrine.

All the wise men of the past - the Buddha, Jesus, Hakuin, etc - have been pointers to the Truth, and have pointed to it. The Buddha transmitted the highest wisdom to Bodhidharma by simply passing him a flower.

It's only foolish people who think they can encapsulate Reality in words, or in a personification, like modern Christians do.

When I use the word 'emotion' I mean it as something that opposes 'acute reason', a sort of pure intellectualism.

I think you're speaking there of a kind of misapplication of reason, which one often sees in academics. Upon investigation it is discovered that their kind of so-called "pure intellectualism" is in fact the result of not using the intellect. At some point along the way they have bailed-out of the intellect and made a home in a place they feel comfortable. Many of these "pure intellectuals" are married, beat-up their wives, and are alcoholics!

Nietzsche speaks of them in his "Zarathustra":
Nietzsche wrote:They watch one another well, and trust not one another over-much.
Ingenious in petty strategems, they lie in wait for those whose knowledge
goeth on lame feet; like spiders they wait.
They know, moreover how to play with loaded dice. We are as strangers to
one another, and their virtues are yet more repugnant to me than their
falsehoods and loaded dice.
They love not to hear that any goeth over their heads. Therefore they have
laid wood and earth and refuse betwixt me and their heads. Thus have
they deadened the sound of my footsteps; and hitherto the most learned have
heard me least.


Alex wrote: I am not talking about 'whimsy' or sentimentalism, no, but rather a sort of emotional sense, the sensitivity of the living entity who is sentient. I do not mean to be swayed by 'mere emotions' but to experience being in a holistic way. This definition, I think, is radically different from what you assume, and I expect that it is just not a part of your experience---yet.

You seem to just be speaking of experience itself, or intuition. These are by no means emotions - at least not in my case.

All of my reason is built upon my experience and intuition. It could have no other source material.

The "cake" is my direct experience and intuition, which is intuitively sliced up so that reason can get into action.

Kevin, a person has got to start somewhere, you see. Try to understand that there are kinds of people who are 'following their dharma' and who have set up little magic theatres along the highways and biways of life, and there they put on their little show, looking for recruits, dangling the shimmering jewels of what lies inside us before the exiled wanderers, the pilgrims on the road home. It is not at all impossible that Father Bowles is involved in some part of this work, don't you think?

Indeed. I did give Peter some sort of encouragement, don't you think? While I do think his understanding is badly mistaken, yet I think what he is doing is quite a lot better than you will find in 90% of the American churches - and I find that somewhat encouraging.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:58 pm

What was the point of that?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:20 pm

What was the point of what?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:19 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:
There are two ways that we can prove that it is logically impossible for God to be conscious: firstly by examining what consciousness is, and secondly by examining what God is.


Consciousness is precisely an awareness of "things". It is an awareness of "self" and "other". In the case of God there is no "other", and consequently there can be no consciousness.


Secondly, as to what God is: God is the All, the Totality of all things. Consequently it is not a "thing", and as such it cannot be said to possess any quality such as consciousness, or blue shoes, or whatever.


the self can never be aware of itself directly, for the same reason that a fingertip cannot touch itself.

And that's why God is not conscious. God is like a fingertip that cannot touch itself.


God cannot be evil.


if God's consciousness were essentially the same as ours but somehow better, or even the best, then God would simply be a kind of powerful alien being, and not deserving of any respect beyond what we would give any other object in the Universe.


Whatever intelligence created human beings to have souls obviously didn't do a very good job of it!


The fact that we share about 99% of our genetic make-up with chimpanzees should give you a good indication that we are very closely related...It is just like two brothers who share the same parent and where one brother is intelligent and the other is not.


These are all beliefs.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:48 pm

Carl G wrote:These are all beliefs.

The latter two are based on empirical observations (ie, that humans have meagre souls, and that we are 99% genetically the same as chimpanzees), but all the rest are true by definition.

(For example, if "God" is defined to be the All, then God cannot be evil, if "evil" is defined in such a way that it is always the action of a being that has some degree of volition.)

Are there any of those in particular that you think are not true by definition, and would like an explanation of how they in fact are?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:24 am

Um, I really don't have a great deal to contribute to a so-called 'logical' conversation about 'God' or God's nature, since I think that any and all references to 'God' are only allusions. One can fill one's head with all sorts of mathematical theology, and put on a good show, that is if your audience doesn't go to sleep, but none of this seems to have too much effect at all on the living of life, on the conducing of oneself through life. I suppose that if these sort of intellectual domains provides one with a sort of security or sense of accomplishment, an accomplishment of understanding, then it serves a purpose. But it just seems to me like a form of *self-pleasuring*.

I feel that I went through phases of learning, or phases of exposure to the sort of doctrinairism that you seem to expound, though I do realize that you feel that your *ultimate experience*, your realization of knowledge, more or less trumps that of any other, or those whose art or math of explication you take issue with. Personally, I see this 'taking issue with' as a kind of immaturity, and the immaturity seems borne of a kind of misconception or misunderstanding of what is *most important* and most relevant.

What I see, more than anything, on these pages, is some people who operate under a certain aesthetic, who privelage a group of concept-constructs that has satisfaction-value for those persons. Again, you-all seem to have certain attractions, a sort of boy-scoutish spiritual frontierism, a sort of asceticism too, but also an unnatural fear of women or contempt of women, which likely is tied up with some complexes that seem to hang you up. (I noticed that in the podcast you wanted to engage Father Bowles in your fear and contempt of the physical woman, but (admirably I thought) he indicated reluctance to go there with you, so you (sensibly) moved on). But, I am not going to harp on this. You know that I regard this all-male intellectualism as a counterpart to a more lusty homo-eroticism, and since this stuff doesn't turn my crank, personally, I can only point to it from my little ledge, and hope you boys grow up and get over it. And you will!

Honestly though, I see this aesthticism as having a pretty important place. Certainly we have all seen this over the years: the way that religious and spiritual interests seem to translate into interior decoration schemes and clothing choices. In your case(s) it seems that your favorite attraction is something Buddhist or 'Zen', but it translates more into these idea- and concept-edifices that you construct and abide in. It is your abode, the place you feel comfortable in. There is really nothing at all wrong with that, and the fact is that just about everyone does something similar, it is really a question of degree. Perhaps it is like designing and building, and living in, a house? I see your abode from across the street and though it is clearly a nice little adobe, there are parts of it that just don't suit me, and so, of course, I constructed my house differently. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. There is a mysterious aspect here, and that is that the sun is born on the eastern horizon and 'dies' in the West, and then is reborn again. Maybe we have to get comfortable with a certain fluidity of personality? That personalities are created, are born and die? That what we gather around us now, the construct of self, the ideation, is not ultimate, can collapse, recycle, and emerge anew? Maybe you are rising bright and burning as the Sun, but you just don't compare with the principal luminary I see in the sky, you are just one among so many other little mirrors, as am I.

(Excuse the sermon, I tend to get carried away...)

Nevertheless, I think there is a *wiser* or at least more mature position, and since I am interested in knowing that more mature position, that is what I try to focus on. That is also why I stand, in some degree at least, in opposition to your doctrines. I think my spiritual explorations and investigations have simply taken me down other paths, and each path a person travels 'teaches' them different thing. And those who travel their paths...what is it?...honestly? or thoroughly? or sincerely?...always seem to come out the other end with something that you might call 'wisdom'.

AJ: I just do not accept the term Truth that you use so frequently. Obviously, that stems from a core idea I presented earlier: all descriptions, it seems to me, are allusions, semblences, similies perhaps.

Kevin: If that were true, it would be an absolute truth, and would be part of the Truth of which I speak.

You and Dan both are hooked on this game! You locate a phrase that seems to you similarly 'absolute', point out that it is an 'absolute' like your own, and call people on it, to defend your own absolutisms. But though I think that what I wrote is 'true', it is not an absolute truth, but a sort of guideline, a generalism that seems to apply in many cases.

I cannot make any ultimate statements about your subjective experience, or your 'state of consciousness'. I don't think I have nor would I. So many people seem to say wise things and to reflect some wisdom in their persons, but I know of no absolute doctrine that resolves all the problems of life, that answers all the questions. All lives are empowered by 'the spirit' that has given life, and all things express some wisdom. But this is so so subjective, and so personal.

"A person could only know that I know the Truth if they themselves knew the Truth. By contrast, a person living in darkness can only grope around in the dark."

I listen to what you-plural say, and these fruits are not fruits I want to bite into. I have lived a certain amount of time, and have traveled paths that could be called 'spiritual', and my *conclusions* about life, its value and purpose, seem very different than yours, significantly different, yet I do not necessarily identify myself as 'unwise', or feel that what I 'know' stands outside of some sort of truthfulness. You make me aware, that is by proximity to you in conversation and by your focus, that 'truth' and consciousness and 'God' (which I could only allude to in a sort of poetry, and only in that way) is so varied that it cannot be contained in any single or even pointed description. You can make that effort and it may or may not be successful, and in your case I say, in a friendly way, that you fail miserably for a group of different reasons, not the least of which is a near absolute lack of art, but I don't say any of this with malice, but rather because, if I can, I'd like to help you.

Just turn your arrogant little sail a wee wee bit toward my favorable wind!
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:36 am

Kush mir in tokhes.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Shahrazad » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:57 am

Kush mir in tokhes.
Can you please translate to English?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:03 am

Almost anything can be translated just by dropping it into Google:

http://www.google.com/search?q=Kush+mir ... tartPage=1
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Shahrazad » Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:54 am

Thank you, Alex.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Alex Jacob » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:45 am

It's the least I can do. I have a feeling that Dan's 'kiss my ass' was directed to me...ME! But really, I am one of the sweetest persons you will meet in cyberspace, and the other thing is that I am genuinely beginning to like you guys. Okay, I admit I am at times a bit of a smart-ass, but I am making at least some effort here...
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Ataraxia » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:21 am

You do seem like a nice fella Alex,but Jebus you can waffle.That treatise reads like a man trying to rationalise the irrational in his own mind.

If you get nothing else from your time on GF at least try and understand the importance of clear thinking and ordering your thoughts succinctly.

It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what other men say in whole books - what other men do not say in whole books. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:01 am

Kevin Solway wrote:
Carl G wrote:These are all beliefs.

The latter two are based on empirical observations (ie, that humans have meagre souls,

You didn't say that, you said "Whatever intelligence created human beings to have souls obviously didn't do a very good job of it!" You are judging the intelligence to have done poorly, and that's a belief, regardless of the quality of human souls -- provided the hypothetical, of course, that humans have souls.

and that we are 99% genetically the same as chimpanzees),

Which may be a fact, but it does not necessarily follow that "we are very closely related...It is just like two brothers who share the same parent and where one brother is intelligent and the other is not." I am no expert on the subject of evolution but, for instance, at http://www.lloydpye.com/ under "Intervention", the slide shows "Apes into Prehumans" and "Prehumans" show enough differences to call into question your view we and chimps are "very closely related" and "share the same parent."

but all the rest are true by definition.

Beliefs also depend on definition.

(For example, if "God" is defined to be the All, then God cannot be evil, if "evil" is defined in such a way that it is always the action of a being that has some degree of volition.)

Defining things in certain ways leads to belief.

Are there any of those in particular that you think are not true by definition, and would like an explanation of how they in fact are?

You presume you are cognizant of the Ultimate Truth. That is a belief.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Father Peter » Thu Nov 01, 2007 10:39 am

Mystics value experience as the sole basis of knowledge. Belief is speculation but might inspire someone to move in the direction of experience. So beliefs a childlike and unsophisticated beginnings. Speaking of God as the obelisk in 2001, sort of monkey-like, touching and hooting and snorting, demanding that God conform to the logic that only the five less than empirical senses can perceive is a sad state of affairs. Words conceal a great deal and are never complete in elucidating a mystical experience of God. I can state clearly that God loves and God communicates to whoever opens for such a relationship. That is my experience, which is far from speculation. The logic you confine God to is your pride that you can encompass a being that fashioned you. That is ridiculous since you would have to be One with God to be able to understand that kind of love for creatures and creation.
I do find your amusement with beliefs malicious for those who have only that to rely on. I am not one of those, but I can empathize with people who have not grown beyond that. I also find the mental attitude of pride in the rational really kind of nauseating since it leaves out the heart. When researchers measured the outpout of energy radiating from one's mind in comparison to radiations coming from the heart area of human beings, they discovered that the mental energy radiated approximately three inches, whereas the radiations from the heart radiated approximiately three feet out from the body. That should show you where the life is more predominantly moving from.
In my language, the mind is the satellite and the heart is the mothership.
That will also, appropriately honor the feminine, which this discussion seems ultimately afraid of.
It might be logical to reflect on the fact that if, as you say, God is All, then feelings are part of God and have a predominant place in half of the human population. Thus they are valued and important. But is this disucssion biased and one-sided, accentuating the head over other important parts of human beings?
As Loa Tzu states: "The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao."

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:28 am

Alex Jacob wrote:I think that any and all references to 'God' are only allusions.

All references are like that. Such references are pointers.

none of this seems to have too much effect at all on the living of life

It certainly wouldn't have any effect if you were bamboozled or bored by it.

the sort of doctrinairism that you seem to expound

The doctrine of rationality and truth? Do you really understand what the doctrine is? I think you are just fishing, and blindly expecting there to be a fish in the pond.

. . . your fear and contempt of the physical woman

I think you'll find the fear is of the emotional woman.

And those who travel their paths...what is it?...honestly? or thoroughly? or sincerely?...always seem to come out the other end with something that you might call 'wisdom'.

They come out of it with "worldly wisdom", but that's not the same as wisdom.

Kevin wrote:
AJ wrote:: I just do not accept the term Truth that you use so frequently. Obviously, that stems from a core idea I presented earlier: all descriptions, it seems to me, are allusions, semblences, similies perhaps.

If that were true, it would be an absolute truth, and would be part of the Truth of which I speak.

You and Dan both are hooked on this game! You locate a phrase that seems to you similarly 'absolute', point out that it is an 'absolute' like your own, and call people on it, to defend your own absolutisms. But though I think that what I wrote is 'true', it is not an absolute truth, but a sort of guideline, a generalism that seems to apply in many cases.

"Many cases". How many would that be, exactly? About half of all cases? Or 90%?

To remind you, you said "All descriptions, it seems to me, are allusions, semblences, similies . . .".

"All" descriptions. ALL. Not "many" descriptions, or "most" descriptions, but "all".

That sounds very much like a statement of an absolute to me.

I know of no absolute doctrine that resolves all the problems of life, that answers all the questions.

How many "absolute doctrines" do you fully understand? Have you plumbed the deepest depths of meaning of the Buddha's doctrine? Until you do, your judgments upon such doctrines will lack much meaning.

All lives are empowered by 'the spirit' that has given life, and all things express some wisdom. But this is so so subjective, and so personal.

The most demonic person on earth, the devil himself, so to speak, expresses some wisdom - in the sense that they are an expression of reality. But that's about all.

You make me aware, that is by proximity to you in conversation and by your focus, that 'truth' and consciousness and 'God' (which I could only allude to in a sort of poetry, and only in that way) is so varied that it cannot be contained in any single or even pointed description.

Nothing at all can be "contained" in a mere description. The coffee-mug on the table in front of me can't be "contained" in any words I can say about it. Yet I can point to it with my finger, or call it a "coffee mug". And such pointing can be faultless. If you can see what I point to there is no confusion.

And that's how it is with all purely spiritual descriptions too. The word "God" is equally as descriptive as "coffee mug", so long as you know exactly what it refers to.

I also note that you state another absolute. Namely,

'Truth' and consciousness and 'God' is so varied that it cannot be contained in any single or even pointed description.

"Any". Cannot be contained in ANY. That sounds like an absolute to me.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:25 pm

Carl G wrote:You are judging the intelligence to have done poorly, and that's a belief, regardless of the quality of human souls

I was saying that if we were created by an intelligent being, and if that intelligence intended us to have effectively functioning souls, then, by my observation of what I see around me in the world, that intelligence did a very poor job. That particular creator should probably lose their job because of their incompetence.

and that we are 99% genetically the same as chimpanzees),

Which may be a fact, but it does not necessarily follow that "we are very closely related.

I did say that it "indicates" that we are closely related, not that it means that we definitely are.

Of course, it could be pure coincidence that we are both DNA-based lifeforms and share 99% of our genetic material.

I am no expert on the subject of evolution but, for instance, at http://www.lloydpye.com/ under "Intervention", the slide shows "Apes into Prehumans" and "Prehumans" show enough differences to call into question your view we and chimps are "very closely related" and "share the same parent."

"Very closely related" is a relative term. We are very closely related when compared to our relationship to, say, a rock.

but all the rest are true by definition.

Beliefs also depend on definition.

Yes, beliefs depend on definitions, but those truths I mentioned are only definitions.

(For example, if "God" is defined to be the All, then God cannot be evil, if "evil" is defined in such a way that it is always the action of a being that has some degree of volition.)

Defining things in certain ways leads to belief.

It can do, but it doesn't have to lead to the "belief" I think you are talking about (ie, a belief that could be wrong).

Are there any of those in particular that you think are not true by definition, and would like an explanation of how they in fact are?

You presume you are cognizant of the Ultimate Truth. That is a belief.

You mean that I could be wrong? How do you know that? What if your belief that I could be wrong, is wrong?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:56 pm

Peter,

Thanks for giving your time to the Reasoning Show, by the way. I have some problems with your approach, however:

Mystics value experience as the sole basis of knowledge.


Really? Experience of what? Knowledge of what? Experience is not valid of itself. Schizophrenics hear voices; they directly experience them. Are they real? The Protestant tradition is awash with notions of direct revelation. Are they all valid? How does one experience God, exactly? Indeed, how does one not experience God? True wisdom does not value experience as a basis of knowledge. It actually rejects experience as a meaningful basis of anything other than itself. It is our understanding that tells us what value to place on experience.

Belief is speculation but might inspire someone to move in the direction of experience.


True enough. I'm not much interested in beliefs. They don't mean much and can be deleterious to a person's spiritual development if held onto..

So beliefs a childlike and unsophisticated beginnings. Speaking of God as the obelisk in 2001, sort of monkey-like, touching and hooting and snorting, demanding that God conform to the logic that only the five less than empirical senses can perceive is a sad state of affairs.


What is God, exactly? In answering that question in what sense does God not conform to your consciousness?

Words conceal a great deal and are never complete in elucidating a mystical experience of God.


Or an experience of anything at all. Words are not supposed to be more than pointers. It makes no sense to talk of the limitations of that which is limited by definition.

I can state clearly that God loves and God communicates to whoever opens for such a relationship.


Words.

That is my experience, which is far from speculation.


How have you determined that this experience is not pure imagination? My experience is that your experience is deluded nonsense. So, one of us has a serious problem! Clearly, experience is not self-validating.

The logic you confine God to is your pride that you can encompass a being that fashioned you.


It is your logic that claims God cannot be confined by logic. Is that pride?

That is ridiculous since you would have to be One with God to be able to understand that kind of love for creatures and creation.


It is ridiculous to be one with God? Oh well, call me ridiculous :)

I do find your amusement with beliefs malicious for those who have only that to rely on. I am not one of those, but I can empathize with people who have not grown beyond that.


Yet you describe beliefs as childlike. Aren't children amusing?

I also find the mental attitude of pride in the rational really kind of nauseating since it leaves out the heart.


This is mere poetry that means nothing. I find that nauseating. What is the heart?

When researchers measured the outpout of energy radiating from one's mind in comparison to radiations coming from the heart area of human beings, they discovered that the mental energy radiated approximately three inches, whereas the radiations from the heart radiated approximiately three feet out from the body. That should show you where the life is more predominantly moving from.


My colon radiates more energy than the grey matter that created that idea.

In my language, the mind is the satellite and the heart is the mothership.


Poetry. 100% meaningless. What is the heart and what does it do, exactly?

That will also, appropriately honor the feminine, which this discussion seems ultimately afraid of.


What is the feminine and what is honourable about it?

It might be logical to reflect on the fact that if, as you say, God is All, then feelings are part of God and have a predominant place in half of the human population.


Feelings might, but as you noted in the podcast, feelings and emotions are different things. "Feelings" is also a rather nebulous term. What sort of feelings are you thinking of?

Thus they are valued and important. But is this disucssion biased and one-sided, accentuating the head over other important parts of human beings?


I think you need to provide some argument as to why those other things matter and how they function. You can't simply assert things and expect them to be taken seriously.

As Loa Tzu states: "The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao."


What is your understanding of that quote?
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:58 pm

Father Peter wrote:Mystics value experience as the sole basis of knowledge.

Logic is part of experience.

The logic you confine God to is your pride that you can encompass a being that fashioned you.

God confines himself by his own logic. The fact is that God can never not be God. And a further example: God is not, and never will be evil.

This is not my logic, but it is God's.

I do find your amusement with beliefs malicious for those who have only that to rely on.

I agree that it is wrong to regard the misfortunes of others as some kind of entertainment. But I don't believe I do that.

Was Jesus entertaining himself and being malicious, when he said:

"What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16: 15

and

"If you fast, you will give rise to sin for yourselves; and if you pray, you will be condemned; and if you give alms, you will do harm to your spirits." Thomas: 14

and

"But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven." Matthew 23:1

[What do you make of that one, "Father" Peter?]

and

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, then you make that convert twice as much a child of hell as you are." Matthew 23: 15

etc, etc.

Now the question is, is Jesus just entertaining himself and mocking all these people? I don't think so.

It just feels that way to people on the receiving end.

In my language, the mind is the satellite and the heart is the mothership.

I don't divide-up the heart and the mind. They are one.

When there is a disconnect, or even a distance, between the heart and the mind, unchecked fantasy (delusion) prevails.

That will also, appropriately honor the feminine

It should be noted that all of Jesus's apostles were men, and even in the case of Mary Magdalene, Jesus had to make her male in order that she have spiritual life at all (according to the Gospel of Thomas).

It might be logical to reflect on the fact that if, as you say, God is All, then feelings are part of God and have a predominant place in half of the human population.

Delusion and evil are also part of God (since God is All), but that doesn't mean we should just accept them into the future and not try to do anything about them.

As Loa Tzu states: "The Tao that can be described is not the real Tao."

That's a good description.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Carl G » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:02 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:Carl: You are judging the intelligence to have done poorly, and that's a belief, regardless of the quality of human souls
Kevin: I was saying that if we were created by an intelligent being, and if that intelligence intended us to have effectively functioning souls, then, by my observation of what I see around me in the world, that intelligence did a very poor job. That particular creator should probably lose their job because of their incompetence.

Right, I think you're defining your way out of this, backing out, but okay.

Kevin: and that we are 99% genetically the same as chimpanzees
Carl: Which may be a fact, but it does not necessarily follow that "we are very closely related.
Kevin: I did say that it "indicates" that we are closely related, not that it means that we definitely are.

Again, defining your way out of it, backing out. Seems this is a pattern with you. I've noticed it before. Eventually you mince it fine enough that it makes you correct, on some level.

Of course, it could be pure coincidence that we are both DNA-based lifeforms and share 99% of our genetic material.

Apparently a gratuitous stab, but of course correct also.

Carl: I am no expert on the subject of evolution but, for instance, at http://www.lloydpye.com/ under "Intervention", the slide shows "Apes into Prehumans" and "Prehumans" show enough differences to call into question your view we and chimps are "very closely related" and "share the same parent."
Kevin: "Very closely related" is a relative term. We are very closely related when compared to our relationship to, say, a rock.

Again backing out, by mincing it finely enough to be correct in some sense. I don't think that was your original thrust, though.

Kevin: but all the rest are true by definition.
Carl: Beliefs also depend on definition.
Kevin: Yes, beliefs depend on definitions, but those truths I mentioned are only definitions.

And so truth by definition is a belief. It is not necessarily reflective of the real world.

Kevin: (For example, if "God" is defined to be the All, then God cannot be evil, if "evil" is defined in such a way that it is always the action of a being that has some degree of volition.)
Carl: Defining things in certain ways leads to belief.
Kevin: It can do, but it doesn't have to lead to the "belief" I think you are talking about (ie, a belief that could be wrong).

Truth by definition is fine for those things we can verify. Beliefs which can be tested can be verified. Then it is no longer belief. Verification provides a working truth, as opposed to a hypothetical truth.

Kevin: Are there any of those in particular that you think are not true by definition, and would like an explanation of how they in fact are?
Carl: You presume you are cognizant of the Ultimate Truth. That is a belief.
You mean that I could be wrong?

You could be right, or you could be wrong. How would you know? That is why it is belief.

How do you know that?

I don't. I couldn't. But I'm amused by your apparent confidence.

What if your belief that I could be wrong, is wrong?

This is a typical (of QRS) attempt to turn the question or proposition around and fire it back at the sender. In this case it isn't apt (No, I am not sure that I am sure). I am simply pointing out where I see belief.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Father Peter » Thu Nov 01, 2007 1:53 pm

It is true that psychotics believe in what they see and are mostly deluded. The word belief seems to be an accustomed rejoinder for most of the statements on this site. That and the response "words." I wonder if that is like parry and thrust in fencing? Also, the idea that God is confined by God's own logic seems to be an important tenet of the philosophy here. I wonder what those kind of thoughts do for you?
I know the mind is a fascinating game and figuring things out and dispensing with foolish ideas seems kind of fun. But there is a great meanness in the slam-dunking energy.
My experience of God is real to me, called conjecture and delusion by you. So what have we accomplished? I do not imagine or make up my relationship with God. And yet you claim I do. Did Jesus or Buddha imagine their relationship with the divine or the Universal Intelligence? Kevin, you said Jesus was not deluded. Then Jesus' experience of God was real. Is that what you mean? Or was it his opinion and his imagination but valid for him since it was Jesus' belief that He was One with God and was sent by God?
I would like to meet you sometime and not on the field of arms and defensive weapons. We have not met yet, as the mutuality of respect and honoring of another human being has not happened. This is merely play time for you and has the appearance of affability, but no real sincerity or compassion.
If the premise is that God is a fictional account of a deluded mind, then everyting anyone says will be put down and rejected.
I see God in the center of my being. I do not make that up. But I cannot prove that to anyone, nor can I convince anyone of that. But I can say that the proof of whether that is the case is the transformations of the ones that I interact with as they come into that presence. But you are right in your fencing program that one could come into that presence and not feel or see or hear a thing and have no such transformation. But wasn't that the case with Jesus. Some were completely changed by his presence and healed of their infirmities and others were angered by his words and hated him.

The saying by Lao Tzu means that what the mind describes is far from the actual reality of the thing described. You have to experience it.

As for the feminine, the highest initiate disciple of Jesus was Mary Magdalene, who was not a man, or male. She became strong and decisive, that is what the allegory of "male" means, not the gender identifications that you imagine. But Mother Mary was the most highly evolved being that has ever walked the planet in a female body, equal to Jesus. (I know - "Belief." You have me trained now.)
But I have seen these beings and know them personally. I can ask them anything.
(I know, "Delusion." trained again.) I don't make up the answers because I don't have to have things my way and I don't have delicate conceptions that need coddling in order to understand things. I hear what they tell me and I understand them. When a person does not have the balance between their masculine and feminine nature, they will be unnecessarily heady or, conversely, indecisive and whimpy.
When the part of you that is not the frontal lobe meets a real human being and feels the connection with that person, then this bantering and blithering foam will stop and the heart will open.

I know (peotry and drivel).
Kevin you asked about my name Father Peter. I can tell you that Jesus asked me personally to be called that. So I follow that.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby skipair » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:14 pm

Father Peter and Kevin's philosphy both require belief and faith. Neither are things that are empirically verifiable. From what I can see the philosophy Kevin talks about is a bit different from religion because it requires faith in logic and reason to dismantle the conception of an existing/lasting self. Only after that is "enlightenment", as he calls it, near by.

I have no way of knowing about the experiences of Father Peter or whether they are legit. Nor do I of someone who supposedly has no concept of "self". I have to look at both from afar and judge them from a pragmatic standpoint best I can. I can only hope I choose wisely. If such a notion even exists!!!
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby Dan Rowden » Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:42 pm

Peter,

It is true that psychotics believe in what they see and are mostly deluded.


And? That statement doesn't seem to address the issue. How do you differentiate yourself and your experience from those of a psychotic person? That's the issue. That's the core problem with the "personal experience" proposition. I'm not questioning the significance of the experiential component of one's relationship to God, because it is quintessentially important. I'm simply making the point that experience is not automatically valid. There has to be a way in which we can differentiate the real from the deluded. I'm asking how you do that.

The word belief seems to be an accustomed rejoinder for most of the statements on this site. That and the response "words." I wonder if that is like parry and thrust in fencing?


It's called dialectic; you should try it :)

Also, the idea that God is confined by God's own logic seems to be an important tenet of the philosophy here. I wonder what those kind of thoughts do for you?


They give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. Do you believe God can be and not be at the same time?

I know the mind is a fascinating game and figuring things out and dispensing with foolish ideas seems kind of fun. But there is a great meanness in the slam-dunking energy.


Sanity is mean? In the podcast you freely agreed with, and even seemed to find humour in the idea that most people are ignorant and deluded. Given almost all their suffering derives from such things I don't see any meanness whatever in mental processes that cut through such ignorance and delusion.

My experience of God is real to me, called conjecture and delusion by you. So what have we accomplished?


We have proven that experience is not automatically valid. Not a small thing if you ask me.

I do not imagine or make up my relationship with God.


How do you know that?

And yet you claim I do.


How do we get around that problem do you think?

Did Jesus or Buddha imagine their relationship with the divine or the Universal Intelligence?


No, but they didn't have your whacky ideas :)

Kevin, you said Jesus was not deluded. Then Jesus' experience of God was real. Is that what you mean? Or was it his opinion and his imagination but valid for him since it was Jesus' belief that He was One with God and was sent by God?


Jesus' experience of God was valid because it was underpinned by a proper knowledge which allowed him to judge his experience as real.

I would like to meet you sometime and not on the field of arms and defensive weapons.


What difference would that make?

We have not met yet, as the mutuality of respect and honoring of another human being has not happened. This is merely play time for you and has the appearance of affability, but no real sincerity or compassion.


I don't know about Kevin but I am totally sincere.

If the premise is that God is a fictional account of a deluded mind, then everything anyone says will be put down and rejected.


That doesn't seem to make any sense. An account of God may or may not be fictional. The only way I can hope to judge such an account coming from another is by way of the things they tell me. It's not a perfect method of course; it is ultimately contingent, but there's no real alternative. Of course, the only reason I care about what you say and the nature of your own experiences is because I care about the karma you create by your words and actions.

I see God in the center of my being.


So? I see God in the dead bug on my monitor screen.

I do not make that up.


No-one is saying that you do, necessarily. But it doesn't follow that just because you feel something the feeling is valid. My father felt when he was dying from cancer that if he had enough faith in Jesus he would survive. Fat lot of good that feeling did him.

But I cannot prove that to anyone, nor can I convince anyone of that.


That's true. I can't convince anyone of my experience of Reality either, and it doesn't matter that I can't, ultimately. What matters is that my experience is valid. It matters for me.

But I can say that the proof of whether that is the case is the transformations of the ones that I interact with as they come into that presence.


That's not proof of anything other than a transformation.

But you are right in your fencing program


Your contempt for the intellect is noted.

that one could come into that presence and not feel or see or hear a thing and have no such transformation. But wasn't that the case with Jesus. Some were completely changed by his presence and healed of their infirmities and others were angered by his words and hated him.


Jesus was a bit of a radical. Such people tend to polarise people.

The saying by Lao Tzu means that what the mind describes is far from the actual reality of the thing described. You have to experience it.


That's partly right. What he's essentially saying is that the finite cannot capture the infinite, in words or concepts. One can neither experience nor not experience God.

As for the feminine, the highest initiate disciple of Jesus was Mary Magdalene, who was not a man, or male. She became strong and decisive, that is what the allegory of "male" means, not the gender identifications that you imagine.


Our notion of masculinity is not based in biology in any necessary way.

But Mother Mary was the most highly evolved being that has ever walked the planet in a female body, equal to Jesus.


Hmm, Jesus didn't seem to think so.

(I know - "Belief." You have me trained now.)


Well, on what basis do you assert this? Why should we regard it as other than a mere belief? Were you there?

But I have seen these beings and know them personally.


Oh. Scratch that last question :)

I can ask them anything.


Can you ask them what tomorrow's winning Lotto numbers are?

(I know, "Delusion." trained again.) I don't make up the answers because I don't have to have things my way and I don't have delicate conceptions that need coddling in order to understand things.


Please explain how you have validated these experiences. How do you know they are not deluded.

I hear what they tell me and I understand them. When a person does not have the balance between their masculine and feminine nature, they will be unnecessarily heady or, conversely, indecisive and whimpy. When the part of you that is not the frontal lobe meets a real human being and feels the connection with that person, then this bantering and blithering foam will stop and the heart will open.


And what happens then?

I know (peotry and drivel).


Hah! You really are catching on!

Kevin you asked about my name Father Peter. I can tell you that Jesus asked me personally to be called that. So I follow that.


Mary just asked me to tell you that Jesus has a penchant for practical jokes.
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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby David Quinn » Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:19 pm

Father Peter,

What do you think of the Buddhist conception of "Emptiness" or the "Void"? In Buddhism, there is no mention of God or Jesus - indeed, deities are dismissed as unimportant to the spiritual quest of realizing the nature of Reality. Understanding the Void and immersing oneself in it is what Buddhism is essentially all about.

Given that the Buddha's wisdom also came out of his own experience, and given that it seems to contradict your own wisdom, what weight can we place on the legitimacy of "experience"? Experience alone, it would seem, isn't enough to ensure that one is on the right path.

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Re: LATEST SHOW: Mystical Christianity - Father Peter Bowes

Postby divine focus » Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:21 pm

Dan Rowden wrote:
Mystics value experience as the sole basis of knowledge.


Really? Experience of what? Knowledge of what? Experience is not valid of itself. Schizophrenics hear voices; they directly experience them. Are they real? The Protestant tradition is awash with notions of direct revelation. Are they all valid? How does one experience God, exactly? Indeed, how does one not experience God? True wisdom does not value experience as a basis of knowledge. It actually rejects experience as a meaningful basis of anything other than itself. It is our understanding that tells us what value to place on experience.

All experience is real! Schizophrenics may hear and see things others don't see, but it's real! The personalness of reality is absolute. Aspects of your reality may not intersect with everyone else's reality, though by-and-large it usually does. When it doesn't though, you're not going crazy or imagining things! Not anymore than everyone else is imagining their reality. It's real!

How does one not experience God? By forgetting! You create your experience in a box where only certain perceptions are valid. You close yourself off and then invent explanations for those phenomena you happen to let through. You'll never know until you start trusting your own logic without reconciling it with the logic of "everyone else" or with the "experts." Your experience is all you need to concern yourself with.

Father Peter,

What do you think of the Buddhist conception of "Emptiness" or the "Void"? In Buddhism, there is no mention of God or Jesus - indeed, deities are dismissed as unimportant to the spiritual quest of realizing the nature of Reality. Understanding the Void and immersing oneself in it is what Buddhism is essentially all about.

Given that the Buddha's wisdom also came out of his own experience, and given that it seems to contradict your own wisdom, what weight can we place on the legitimacy of "experience"? Experience alone, it would seem, isn't enough to ensure that one is on the right path.

This is really a question of semantics. Buddhism goes into more detail has more accurate language than other religions. The aim of Buddhism is to provide a practical path and worldview more than a metaphysical worldview. They use terms like "void" and "buddha-nature" for people to have something they can actually apply. The essential understanding is the same.
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