Life after death

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

Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:56 pm

dejavu wrote:
I would agree that our willing is "free" in the sense that we don't know what we will do before we do it, and so it feels like we have some latitude. But God knows what we will do before we do it, so to speak, and provides no latitude.

In the same vein, only we know what we will do before we do it, regardless that our consciousness is the result of an eternity behind us, and this is the point, it is our consciousness of the moment that allows us to create it.

I don't follow you here. You say "only we know what we will do before we do it", but, in the case of making a decision, how do we know what we are going to decide, before we have decided? We only know what the decision will be once the decision is made.
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Postby DHodges » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:07 am

Kevin Solway wrote:In my opinion the idea of the Trinity was created by a person of some genius who was trying to understand and express the relationship between duality ("the son") and non-duality ("the Father", or the Totality). I believe this is a common theme in many cultures, not just Catholicism.

In my opinion the idea of the Trinity was created by someone who thought, "Shit, if I can get them to believe 3=1, I can get them to believe anything."

That is certainly a common theme in many cultures.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:10 am

Yes, there's a number of different possible interpretations.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:14 am

dejavu wrote:
You say "only we know what we will do before we do it", but, in the case of making a decision, how do we know what we are going to decide, before we have decided?

In the moment of deciding.

That's not before we have decided, but when the decision is made. Is it not?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:29 am

This is pretty much what I was talking about awhile back: the core foundation in the views of these men arises from a sort of invisible platform-structure that could best be described as Christian. From the look of it, in what Kevin has so remarkably expressed in recent posts, they have taken certain ideas or 'facts' (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and re-described them according to their neo-materialistic semi-metaphysical whimsical doctrines, through which they oppose in fact the ideas expressed in those original formulations. By taking a certain 'magic' out of the original meanings, by repossessing the terms, by reinterpreting them neo-materialistically, they have arrived at a world-view that they explain. There is no God-acting-in-history, and no personal theistic God acting as agent within human culture, but there certainly is revelation, and there certainly is an end, that being 'enlightenment'.

Wine (awareness, consciousness, masculinity) and crackers ('what is', 'ultimate reality', Kevin's 'soul') anyone?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:41 am

Alex Jacob wrote:they have taken certain ideas or 'facts' (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and re-described them . . .

We've interpreted those words, for sure. I wouldn't say we've redescribed them.

There is no God-acting-in-history, and no personal theistic God acting as agent within human culture

Our interpretation is not all that unusual. Among theologians you will find many who don't understand God to be an actual person, or a conscious being of any sort.

Spinoza was another whose interpretation of God is alike our own.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Jason » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:07 am

Kevin Solway wrote:
Jason wrote:Were you raised as a Christian, Kevin? You seem to have an attachment to reading favourable things into Biblical pap.

Not particularly


What do you mean not particularly?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:20 am

Jason wrote:What do you mean not particularly?

I mean I wasn't particularly raised as a Christian. My influences would be about 40% Scientific atheist, 20% Christian, 20% Buddhist, and 10% Hindu.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:26 am

If you can entertain the idea of shamanic Taoist sages in the foggy pine forests of an ancient somewhere, sitting still and observing nature, sensing the presence of 'spirits' in things, you have connected to something very ancient in man, very original to the Man of the Earth. And if you have remodeled these Christian ideas, have both divested them yet also reinvested them with the spirit as you use modern theological tools to hone your ideas, and if you entertain the notion of the 'psychological' in man as a sort of indescribable territory that is 'metaphysical', you are just a hop skip and a jump from a form of neo-Jungianism, a sort of Spiritual QRS Alchemy, and indeed Jung cautiously postulated a sort of 'psychoid' reality, a psychoid presence within the consciousness of man (psychoid meaning a structure of life, independent of any one of us, or perhaps all of us collectively, that was 'soul-like', i.e. psychoid). If one goes anywhere near these dangerous doctrines, or these perilous conceptual pathways of thinking and perceiving, suddenly as you are gazing out on the vistas of 'reality' there may appear a shimmering movement, an awareness of a presence that beckons to you, that is aware of you, that sees what you are up to.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Jason » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:26 am

Kevin Solway wrote:I mean I wasn't particularly raised as a Christian. My influences would be about 40% Scientific atheist, 20% Christian, 20% Buddhist, and 10% Hindu.


Did you go to church? Did you believe in god at any stage?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:44 am

Jason wrote:Did you go to church? Did you believe in god at any stage?

I can remember reciting the Lord's prayer at some time in my early childhood, but I can't remember what that was for. Probably during some kind of school assembly.

I have attended a couple of weddings at a church, but never attended regular services.

As a child I sang Christmas carols at Christmas.

I entertained the idea of a God for a couple of weeks as a child, but couldn't maintain it. It just seemed like too much hard work when the only end result I could see was to end up in a comfortable dreamworld that could just as well become a nightmare.

At the age of about 10 I went to sunday school for about six weeks, but everything I was told was total bullshit — Jesus walking on water, raising people from the dead, turning water into wine, etc. I remember finding the teachings extremely insulting, and the whole thing deeply repulsive. But I did like the girls in their Sunday clothes.

I remember one time, I was about 12, and on holidays at a seaside resort where the Christians had a large tent set up. I went along to a so-called "discussion group" where the girl who was leading it, who was about 17, was doing nothing other than seducing the young boys who were up for it. I was a bit pissed-off that she didn't seem to take a preference for me.

That about covers my contact with Christianity as I was growing up.
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Re: Life after death

Postby brokenhead » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:44 am

Carl G wrote:
brokenhead wrote:
brad walker wrote:Brokenhead's post about surrender sounds awfully similar to Samadhi's arguments and comments in his Crucible debate that preluded his banning.

Pipe down, you instigator. No one asked you.

Shut up, bastard. Hey, this is fun.

Et tu, Carl?
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Re: Life after death

Postby brokenhead » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:58 am

Kevin Solway wrote:At the age of about 10 I went to sunday school for about six weeks, but everything I was told was total bullshit — Jesus walking on water, raising people from the dead, turning water into wine, etc. I remember finding the teachings extremely insulting, and the whole thing deeply repulsive. But I did like the girls in their Sunday clothes... That about covers my contact with Christianity as I was growing up.

Ah, so that's where your intimate knowledge of Christianity comes from.

I remember one time, I was about 12, and on holidays at a seaside resort where the Christians had a large tent set up. I went along to a so-called "discussion group" where the girl who was leading it, who was about 17, was doing nothing other than seducing the young boys who were up for it. I was a bit pissed-off that she didn't seem to take a preference for me.

Rejection by an older woman still haunts him, lo these many years later.

Kevin, to dejavu, wrote:I don't follow you here. You say "only we know what we will do before we do it", but, in the case of making a decision, how do we know what we are going to decide, before we have decided? We only know what the decision will be once the decision is made.

Two teams are playing American football. To determine which side gets the ball first, they toss a coin. Immediately after the coin toss, the two teams take their respective ends of the field. In this scenario, what is the cause that the teams took the sides they did and not the other one, taking sides being the clear effect?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:16 am

brokenhead wrote:Ah, so that's where your intimate knowledge of Christianity comes from.

All I learned as a child was that Christianity was bullshit.

Only after I discovered the truth independently was I able to extract any truth out of the Christian scriptures.

Rejection by an older woman still haunts him, lo these many years later.

I realize now that the poor girl was probably sexually abused by her priest or her father, and was "acting out."

Two teams are playing American football. To determine which side gets the ball first, they toss a coin. Immediately after the coin toss, the two teams take their respective ends of the field. In this scenario, what is the cause that the teams took the sides they did and not the other one, taking sides being the clear effect?

The decision which side to take was finally made with the coin toss.

I don't know what you mean by "What is the cause?" Ultimately, the cause is the past history of the Universe.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Steven Coyle » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:59 am

Alex...

That's gold.

Inline with Tao trip. This morning I woke to daily exercise... though, today with some local farm kids. Toughing up by swinging with ropes, throwing walnuts at trees - kids calling me a giant, as they sat on a truck tire - as mom and next door neighbor tended to a sick horse. Though the omen has a flip side... still having some trouble with appetite (still due to mother complex. tho, working through it as evidenced from above). After this beautiful event... saw a pine cone, in the perfect shape of swan?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:22 am

Kevin writes:

"All I learned as a child was that Christianity was bullshit. Only after I discovered the truth independently was I able to extract any truth out of the Christian scriptures."

I believe that I understand. This has been the case for many of us. The paths of life that we have followed tend to teach us certain things. Everyone could isolate and describe the general trend of what life has been teaching him. Usually, the tone of the experience is set pretty early---a dramatic experience, an event, a person who delivers a strong message, a loss, things like this---and the whole rest of one's life seems to be about 'following up the octaves' of the original experience.

When one isolates what exactly you-all are teaching, the elements stand out quite strongly. You could list them. What we say we 'know' is often a kind of reduction to axiomatic phrases. Usually there are not too many of them. They are usually pithy and concentrated and they are rarely transcended, since it is these core bits that one is destined to work with.

With the weight of experience we can indeed, and we do, go back over scripture, Biblical stories, and compare what has happened to us with what is there as a story about what happened to other people.

In your world-view, your Jesus (or David's anyway, I've not heard you talk too much about Jesus) is a man who has achieved precisely the kind of awareness you describe as 'enlightenment'. You see it as something Japanese, or Zen (or whatever are your main influences, these names you mention from time to time). Apparently, you have done something similar to what they have done, this Zen-seeing without unconscious 'projection'. And it seems that this is pretty much the only way y'all can see Jesus---as a teacher of 'enlightenment'.

But if Jesus is a teacher of enlightenment, he is teaching an enlightenment that is well beyond the doctrines and views you are presenting, such that the Biblical Jesus is not at all identical with Quinn, Solway or Rowden. Also, this Jesus figure is an historical outcome, a prophet with a connection to the other prophets, to a tradition, to social doctrines (the main emphasis of Judaic teachings is man's relation to the social body, in Christianity 'the body of Christ'), but there is next to nothing of this in your doctrines, which is puzzling.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:49 am

Alex Jacob wrote:Also, this Jesus figure is an historical outcome, a prophet with a connection to the other prophets, to a tradition, to social doctrines (the main emphasis of Judaic teachings is man's relation to the social body, in Christianity 'the body of Christ'), but there is next to nothing of this in your doctrines, which is puzzling.


I'll say it again Alex, you like to pretend to know something about the body of Judaic and Christian teachings and traditions, and especially you like to point out how others are lacking in that knowledge but actually you know shit - you're bullshitting as you go, over-extending yourself almost every other post. You parrot a certain perspective picked up here and there but it's really just like the howling wind, coming from no where and going nowhere with it.

It's clear to me you've been reading too much, you got lost in all the ideas and theories while you've barely scratched the whole universe of interpretations and research out there. The only way out here for you is to keep it simpler, lobotomize yourself a bit and understand that all those traditions you claim to understand are themselves turning against their connection to earlier doctrines. They were all reformers, re-interpreters, often radically changing earlier meanings, thereby trying to restore something of the earlier spirit which has nothing to do with the form - the connection runs way deeper.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:32 am

A little cranky, eh Diebert? Such a devastating post, such ire! I think you should take some time and get clear about what, exactly, is irking you, and then try to express it. In the meantime, stuff your laptop up your asshole, I am not accustomed to this tone from you.

;-)

I never was able to overcome an internal resistance to studying Christian material, but I am pretty sure that I absorbed a great deal of it with the air I breathe. You are right, it is relatively recently that I have begun to study Christianity more thoroughly and the subject is vast. 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.

You seem to promote the idea of some kind of arcana of knowledge.

But let's cut to the chase here. If I remember correctly, you once said that you yourself were pretty much 'an expert' on this subject (Christianity, Christian philosophy?), so perhaps you feel you need to correct me so to be able to assert your own views?

Whatever the case, my grumpy Dutchman, get yourself another cup of coffee and please partake of the conversation. Instruct me for thou knowest...

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.

"...all those traditions you claim to understand are themselves turning against their connection to earlier doctrines. They were all reformers, re-interpreters, often radically changing earlier meanings, thereby trying to restore something of the earlier spirit which has nothing to do with the form - the connection runs way deeper."

So, if these fellows do have a connection to Christian traditions, they function in relation to it like reformers, re-interpreters, 'thereby attempting to restore something of the earlier spirit', and this is sort of what I have been trying to say. They have a deep connection to this 'under-structure' though it seems that they deny it or aren't aware of it. If I read you correctly, you are stating what I have been trying to say. You warble it more beautifully, I'll admit that.

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. I understand the sense of Christianity as a temperance movement that takes issue with perceived sexual perversion---it is not unlike Jewish sexual ethics in that sense---but taking it to such extremes?

Does this sound more, or less, high-faluting to you?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ataraxia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:35 am

It seems to me that to believe that the Jesus of the New Testament ,when talking of the father or God, meant 'the All'/ Nature one would have to ignore about 90% of what he had to say.

'Neo-Jungian ya reckon Alex, hehe, that gave me a good cackle.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Iolaus » Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:54 pm

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.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:29 pm

Ataraxia wrote:It seems to me that to believe that the Jesus of the New Testament, when talking of the father or God, meant 'the All'/ Nature one would have to ignore about 90% of what he had to say.

Not at all. 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?

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.

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?
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:42 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:Where I part ways with them, and where I think something more Jewish asserts itself, is in their severing themselves from the human body . . .

I wish that were possible, since I've been limping around for the last two weeks because of a torn calf muscle, and overall my body feels like it is rapidly approaching death . . . at least, it does when compared to how it felt when I was twenty.

No, we accept the reality of our bodies, but I would like to steer away from selling my body for sex, or marrying it to someone else, or sticking needles in it, if at all possible.

. . . from social connection.

We wouldn't be writing to this forum, or producing podcasts, and websites, if we were trying to sever social connections.

It's only certain types of social connections we steer clear of — namely the ones that are based on deluded thinking.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Kevin Solway » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:56 pm

Alex Jacob wrote:this Jesus figure is an historical outcome, a prophet with a connection to the other prophets, to a tradition, to social doctrines (the main emphasis of Judaic teachings is man's relation to the social body, in Christianity 'the body of Christ'), but there is next to nothing of this in your doctrines, which is puzzling.

When Weininger rejected Judaism for Christianity he did so precisely because of what he perceived to be the Jewish preference for "society", which he considered to be the annihilation of all good, and the annihilation of God. He discovered that God is found only in the individual.

Jesus's own views on this matter can be discerned by his own single state, and his teaching that those who will be saved "will be neither married nor given in marriage", and that you should hate and leave your parents, and that you should give up everything that you hold dear, and that you should not pray in public, and that rituals are useless.

You say that there is nothing of "the body of Christ" in our philosophy or teachings. But do you really know what the body of Christ is? I don't think so.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Ataraxia » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:04 pm

Kevin Solway wrote:Not at all. 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.

How could Jesus (assuming he was the son of God) make a special exception to the laws of nature if he didn't believe there was some entity acting upon nature,rather than nature acting itself.Or is your contention that Jesus didn't believe he was turning water into wine?

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?

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?

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.

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.
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Re: Life after death

Postby Alex Jacob » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:05 pm

Kevin, I do think I understand at least a general outline of your position. I don't think I embellish it or exaggerate it. Let me put it another way. I think we can take it as a certainty that you do not recommend marriage, relationship with a women, the responsibilities of a 'house-holder', the raising and education of children, etc. You seem to be reclusives, and to recommend reclusiveness, sort of like voluntary social outcasts, but with a superiorist attitude. Just about everything having to do with human life is 'deluded', so you avoid most everything in human life.

While 'prophetic values', which are very radical and demanding, share a commonality with your similarly radical doctrines, and there is always a calling to greater seriousness toward God through direct service to the social body, leaving behind the social body is not a part of the doctrines. 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.

Renunciation of life can be a valid path I suppose, and there are many traditions that support it. This is not a feature of Judaism, and the Jesus of the Biblical times was a Jew. It is doubtful that he would have preached doctrines similar to yours, and the ascetic movement within (early) Christianity seems to me a perversion.

When I say 'sever from the human body' I mean more in the sense described above, I don't mean that you deny that you have bodies.
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