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Old 12-20-2005, 03:46 PM   #106
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Hegel? I´ve read some of his works, and he has some interesting views which I partly share, but I would not consider myself a follower of his philosophy.

I do not see the world itself as a mystical being, I think it has a mystical component. The reason that life exists can not be explained by materialists, it seems they deny there is a "higher" reason, but life rather evolved accidentially, through a series of mutations etc.

How can anyone explain the life force? Indeed, there are chemical reactions happening in the brain; receptors etc., dopamines trigger happiness, all of that. I am interested in research about the Hypothalamus for example. I have read about neurotransmitters, but not enough to know exactly how everything is working. However, studies and experience tells me that we normally only use a small part of our brain. Regarding that issue, I got particularly interested in aspects of healing.

According to Lynn Andrews (In: Mirroring The Life Force), the difference between shamanistic psychology and more traditional therapies is that the first includes an aspect of the sacred. Most therapies do not talk about that because their practitioners think it smacks too much of religion. Without wanting to get into her article too much, she thinks that everyone sees the sacred in a different way. She believes shamanism is wonderful because it takes people back to the earth. Shamanism goes way back in time, it is tens thousands of years old, some even think shamanism was already practiced about 100,000 years ago.

When you look out, you see a world terribly out of harmony. As we travel, we see a great hunger and openness. People are beginning to realize they have to wake up and see that the way they have been living is not adequate. Andrews notes that we are beginning to remember and understand that living in harmony with mother earth is more important than almost anything else. In the process of learing how to live in harmony, people will understand more about their own psyches.

The word "heal" comes from the same root as "whole" and "holiness". Another example, Ayurveda has been practised for over 5,000 years. A famous verse from Ayurveda says:

As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm
As is the atom, so is the universe

Deepak Chopra, M.D. (In: The Spell Of Mortality), insists that whatever we may think from our local perspective, this is the classic statement, the mainstream of human understanding. Quantum physics have to agree that the human body, like all complex physical structures, is created from invisible fluctuations in nature´s fundamental energy fields. Your body that seems so solid is really made of energy waves, or vibrations, and even if we could get close enough to inspect the spots and dots of matter that whirl at lightspeed around the atomic nucleus, the void between them is as empty as intergalactic space.

What keeps this void together? Without calling it a mind, physics has come to admit that an infinetely powerful, orderly, all-embracing eternal principle has operated since the first billionth of a second after the Big Bang, shaping this immense void into stars, planets, life forms, and mankind. Ayurveda calls that principle consciousness - I call that energy God.

Consciousness can move or be still, but it always remains in control. Think of our own DNA, which is just as much an expression of knowledge as of matter. In one mode, DNA sits fixed in its place within the cell´s nucleus. In another mode, it creates RNA to produce proteins. Eventually, as the proteins give rise to enzymes, we are dealing with an enormously complex living structure, but all its parts are still connected to the basic nature of DNA - not to its atoms or molecules, which sit at a distance, but to the pure knowledge DNA exhibits.

When a messenger molecule, like the hormone thyroxin, floats down the bloodstream and attaches itself to a receptor on the cell wall, we are witnessing one aspect of DNA interacting with another. The receptor is like an ear awaiting a message, the hormone is the answer. Taken all in all, the whole process is intelligence talking to itself. This simple idea is enough to depose many outworn assumptions in medicine - the assumption that only the brain thinks, that mind is not part of matter, that activity in physiology can be random.

Nature did not put up a wall between mind and body. Our own boundaries are real only because we have conditioned ourselves to believe in them.

So, what does it mean for us to be humble? To be humble means to recognize all other living beings on this planet are equal to you. All the arrogance of men, treating nature, trees, flowers, lakes, animals as if they were inferior to him is not humble. Being humble means to accept life as a gift, not as a matter of course. It means to celebrate life, not to kill it without batting an eye.

And what does the picture look like of us using animal produced products while remaining humble? It means to respect the products as gifts. When I pick a fruit from a tree, being humble means to be thankful that the tree has grown, that there are fruits that I can eat. It means to take a look at other human traditions, like the tradition in India that cows are sacred (however cruel they might treat other life forms). True humbleness would mean to ask the rabbit for authorization whether I am allowed to take his life - I don´t mean we all have to fall into tribal dances, but it should be an issue.

Can you give life?
Then don´t be so easy with taking it.

Being humble means that we cherish and enjoy the wonderful plate that nature has prepared for us, while we take care and have a great respect for nature. Often, you will find that kind of respect when you talk to small, traditional peasants. They have been digging the earth with their hands (or the help of machines) for decades. They know about earth.

In our supermarket world, it means to preferably buy biological products, like Rono has stated. Don´t tell me you can´t afford 3 cents more for an egg of a chicken that´s had a "good life" - set your priorities. And if your priorities are somewhere else, don´t eat eggs. To say "I like eggs but I don´t care for the life of a dumb chicken" is arrogant, not humble.

Respect for all creation is needed. And often, that kind of respect is also echoed in religion. When Jesus says "Love your neighbor as you love yourself", what does he mean? This is not limited to mankind.

It doesn´t make much of a difference to me if you name consciousness, creation, God or energy. Maybe it makes a difference to the Christian church - because of its power structure - but it doesn´t make a difference to my Christianity at all. When all is one, there is no need for specific naming.

As you can see from above examples, natural explanations do not neccesarily eradicate the possibilty of God.
Great post


"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."

Albert Einstein
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:32 PM   #107
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Originally posted by blueyedpoet

many theists of some kind or another (for example christians) believe that morality comes from God. How do you explain moral and ethical codes?
Although you weren't asking me directly, I think I might offer my coding of morals and ethics.

I follow what has been traditionally mis-categorised as a Christian value...

...the one about not doing to others as you wouldn't want done to yourself.

If I wouldn't want to be raped, or robbed or murdered or assaulted, I wouldn't do it to anyone else.

Pain is the big thing here. If there is the slightest possibility of me performing an act that may cause either psychological or physical pain or stress for an individual, I'm not going to commit the act.

Take paedophilia for existence. Hypothetically, if i did have paedophilic tendancies, i would still not actually commit a paedophilic act, because the experience of others has taught me that it is something that has historically caused pain and stress to people, and that is something that I don't believe in inflicting upon people, no matter how huge my desire.

Back to reality, I'm a heterosexual male, and I have heterosexual male sexual desires, yet that does not mean I'm going to rape women, because that will or may cause pain.

That is how I decide what is right and what is wrong, based on an act's potential for causing pain to others.

Pain i wouldn't want to be inflicted upon me...

Many Chrisitians have hijacked such morals and ethics, when really the line between what is right and what is wrong has always been sheer common sense...
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:49 AM   #108
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Quote:
Originally posted by intedomine


Although you weren't asking me directly, I think I might offer my coding of morals and ethics.

I follow what has been traditionally mis-categorised as a Christian value...

...the one about not doing to others as you wouldn't want done to yourself.

If I wouldn't want to be raped, or robbed or murdered or assaulted, I wouldn't do it to anyone else.

Pain is the big thing here. If there is the slightest possibility of me performing an act that may cause either psychological or physical pain or stress for an individual, I'm not going to commit the act.

Take paedophilia for existence. Hypothetically, if i did have paedophilic tendancies, i would still not actually commit a paedophilic act, because the experience of others has taught me that it is something that has historically caused pain and stress to people, and that is something that I don't believe in inflicting upon people, no matter how huge my desire.

Back to reality, I'm a heterosexual male, and I have heterosexual male sexual desires, yet that does not mean I'm going to rape women, because that will or may cause pain.

That is how I decide what is right and what is wrong, based on an act's potential for causing pain to others.

Pain i wouldn't want to be inflicted upon me...

Many Chrisitians have hijacked such morals and ethics, when really the line between what is right and what is wrong has always been sheer common sense...
This seems flawed to me. Not only should I only care, but in reality, I do only care about others because I care for me. What moral teaching teaches to care just for yourself? Egoism.
I don't murder because: a) it's not my style, b) i know it's wrong.
Neither of those two reasons include: c) because i don't want to be murdered.
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Old 12-21-2005, 07:40 PM   #109
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I do not murder because it is the highest violation of another persons liberty. No Harm Principle.
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Old 12-22-2005, 02:55 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueyedpoet


This seems flawed to me. Not only should I only care, but in reality, I do only care about others because I care for me. What moral teaching teaches to care just for yourself? Egoism.
I don't murder because: a) it's not my style, b) i know it's wrong.
Neither of those two reasons include: c) because i don't want to be murdered.
Even if its egoism, it is lot better than religion

Egoism never makes an individual stoop to a level of irrationality than religion does.

Have you ever listened to that argument - "god is watching us" and thats why we shouldnt steal

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Old 12-22-2005, 03:03 AM   #111
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I disagree that egoism is better than religion. Religion has the ability to help people grow in terms of Maslow's hierarchy. Meanwhile, egoism is always just about you.
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Old 12-22-2005, 03:40 AM   #112
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So?

Other than love and affection I fail to see how egoism and rational self interest are worse than religion. Quite the contrary on the matters of esteem one can be recognised for their acheivments and in fufiling their goals in life individualistic pursuit is far more personal than the rigid framework of organised religion.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:43 AM   #113
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don't you think that religion's problems stem from leaders who live by egoist principles?
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:50 AM   #114
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No, they stem from illogical belief in a deity or deities, absolutism and rigid morals. The true believer cannot be dissuaded by logical argument, if their belief is questioned then they will cling to it even more tightly regardless of how extreme their position becomes. Of course if people don't have anything to believe in and instead have considered individual ethos and behaviour that are legal then they are not going to fly off the handle when somebody does something that they think is inherently wrong, like sodomy, pornography, alcohol or being a Jew.

I do not believe that religion should be erradicated or forcibly removed from society, I think that rejectionist concept among some atheists (particularly revolutionaries) is an equal violation of liberty. People should have the right to believe what they want to provided their belief does not impinge upon others rights. They should also be prepared to have their beliefs scrutinised, parodied, questioned and openly mocked by others exercising their free speech.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:26 PM   #115
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I believe in reincarnation. I truly believe when we die we are reborn again. We don't remember our past lives, but sometimes things are so familiar to you, people recognise you even though you've never met, you gravitate towards something. Why would we come out of the womb with a fully functional personality if we haven't had past lives to figure out who we are.

I'm not a huge literature freak, so im not going to be quoting hinduism or buddism but i think i respect their culture and religion the most. It seems the most giving, its balanced, thoughtful and provoking, while other religions seem all about hate while trying to profess love.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:36 PM   #116
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A question though, if reincarnation really takes place then where did all the extra billions of people come from.

Secondly who says that we come out of the womb with fully functional personality? What evidence is there for this, peoples personalities can change dramatically as they grow up and when it comes to babies is there anything there other than base instinct?
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:16 PM   #117
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueyedpoet


This seems flawed to me. Not only should I only care, but in reality, I do only care about others because I care for me. What moral teaching teaches to care just for yourself? Egoism.
I don't murder because: a) it's not my style, b) i know it's wrong.
Neither of those two reasons include: c) because i don't want to be murdered.
I don't see it as egoism, I see it as empathy. It isn't so much "I don't want it happening to me" -- although there is certainly that element to it -- as it is "I don't want to suffer and I don't want this other person to suffer either." It's the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and actually feel the anguish your action would cause. And not wanting to cause that to that other person.

Turn the argument around and see if the converse makes sense -- "I'm only not killing/raping/assaulting etc., etc., this other person because God tells me not to. Otherwise I'm going to have a wild time raping and killing people!" Do you really think that's true? And doesn't the "I don't do it because God tells me not to also have a large streak of self preservation in it also? As in "I don't want to burn in Hell for eternity for doing this?"
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:48 AM   #118
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A question though, if reincarnation really takes place then where did all the extra billions of people come from.
I always try this when it's late and I'm tired. Plus it took me 12 freaking hours to drive home yesterday from Weed, which was the overnight stop on the way home from Portland (which was a great show, by the way).

Anyway (and I sure hope the Freak-Out doesn't start with this), all souls must work their way through a variety of beings to get to be human. Once human, they do not go back. Your "extra billions" of people are those who have worked their way, through reincarnation and the elimination of sanskaras, to being human. Once human, these souls work their way through a series of planes of consciousness, achieving Godhead in the the end.

I'll not cheapen this by saying "it's just what I believe." This is Truth.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:54 AM   #119
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Truth? Prove it.

So all "souls" that exist, have existed or ever will exist are already out there "in the ether"? What happened before life existed? What are "souls" made out of? Can we measure a soul to prove it's existence or is it just like Chi or most other mystical bullshit? Higher planes of existence, are they higher dimensions or pieces of human conciousness?

Of course people can't prove these things because they cannot be proven or disproven, they are completely unfalsifiable and should not be taken as givens.
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Old 12-23-2005, 02:01 AM   #120
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Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi,
finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nec Babylonios
temptaris numeros. Ut melius, quidquid erit, pati,
seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam,
quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare
Tyrrhenum: sapias, vina liques, et spatio breve
spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida
aetas. carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.
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