Knowledge Instead Of Faith, Direct Experience Instead Of Dogma

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by PsychedelicDragon, Jun 19, 2010.

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How do you approach religious/spiritual matters or God?

  1. Faith and Dogma

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Knowledge and Direct Experience

    14 vote(s)
    87.5%
  1. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

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    Dogbrain,

    You are really insulting and I'm getting sick and tired of it. I don't believe I ever called either you or Thomas ignorant, or a hater, or a bigot or anything comparable. I told Thomas early in the thread that he was being condescending, but I don't consider that comparable to any of things you've called me. I also said--rather forcefully, I admit--that I'm not buying what you're selling. But that's my privilege, isn't it? I'm not under any obligation to buy it, and I'm not under any obligation even to consider it if it doesn't interest me.

    I suppose my saying I have no intention of forgiving the Catholic Church for past atrocities--or a long history of teachings leading directly to said atrocities--is what qualifies me as "a hater." It's a relief to know I'm in good company anyway. Take a look at what a troll just posted on the Amazon thread I was telling you about earlier...

    Christian Teachings and the Holocaust - judaism Discussion Forum

    When I read that, it immediately made me think of your last post to me, which I had read earlier but didn't answer. That was posted by somebody calling himself "xxx au naturel Truth" who claims to be of Jewish descent, and who according to another poster is something of a standing joke on the Amazon religion boards. He's what most people call a troll. We aren't sure who the post is addressed to, but it seems to be directed at Gabriel Wilensky who started the topic, and who is also the author of the book Six Million Crucifixions I mentioned earlier.

    Apparently ALL it takes to qualify someone as a "hater" is for the person to be very public in saying that Pope Pius XII wasn't the the great savior of the Jews the Church keeps trying to make him out to be. So at least I'm in good company. I'm posting on that topic too, under my real name of Linda Sang.

    I doubt very much that anyone lurking on this thread would find my posts any more hostile than yours.

    --Linda
     
  2. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    "No mercy" is the battle cry of the bigot.

    Adults understand that tit-for-tat fixes nothing.
     
  3. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    GW Bush was a wannabe theocratic tyrant.
    GW Bush is still a patrician Texan.

    Who don't want to wear the Texan Ribbon?

    I got a tatoo of GW Bush & Rumsfeld on my chest.
     
  4. bhaktajan

    bhaktajan Active Member

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    Raksha,
    Are you a vegetarian?
    If you are not, then "all" is par-for-the-course.
    There are no accidents in a mathematical world.
    There are no chaos in a mathematical world.

    It all depends on those with mathematical minds . . .
     
  5. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Hi Linda! It's nice to see you around. This board has become quite milquetoasty in your absence, and due to the loss of several of our more outspoken members. I'm thinking particularly of Tao.

    I think that we have entered an era of absolutely poisoned politics where the only discussions available present choices of a firmly false dichotomy. There are people of good will, as there have always been, but the majority seems to mindlessly regurgitate the bumper sticker solutions which have been provided in lieu of knowledge and honest reflection on what's really going on. Or, maybe I'm just older. At any rate, the functionalism of this time seems razor thin, and lacking in substance in so very many different ways. We so badly need a different turn, and we need idealism, hippy idealism if you will, or its modern equivalent.

    In my careful reading of the Torah I find an overwhelming emphasis on the theme of justice. To be sure it's set within an atmosphere of ethnocentrism and xenopobia, but the plot of the story is always about a reciprocal leveling of the field. This theme continues in the Gospels, the Pauline material, James, and others. The Kingdom. What is the nature of the Kingdom? Is it ever about the aims of predatory capitalism? Profits increasing forever, benefits trickling down to the poor from the rich? I don't think so. What must one do to enter the Kingdom? THIS IS THE QUESTION. This is where Abrahamic theology makes sense. If we re-read the Bible in search of instruction on how to create COMMUNITY it all begins to make sense. It's what Judaism is all about. It's what apostolic Christianity is all about. And, it's what Islam is all about. And when we think about it carefully we can see that we are all pitted against the force of an entrenched enemy whose only aim is profit. Joshua fought against it. Jesus fought against it. The mullahs of today fight against it. But we are fractured, and tricked into fighting each other instead of the real enemy. We are fooled by the ethnocentric background of our scriptures. That's by design. The fight against the"other" is a minor point in scripture, but it has somehow become the major theme. We need to stop that.

    Chris
     
  6. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Nicely said Chris. What is morality without economics, wealth distribution and humanity?:)
     
  7. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    The science behind community is primally important.
    Our present system of community has failed and creates people who do not feel kinship for each other, nor even trust each other.

    Just look at how many people post using a moniker.
    Rather than as themselves.
     
  8. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

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    Beautiful, beautiful post, Chris! I'm tired right now but I'll come back to it later when I can give it the attention it deserves. Right now all I want to say is I that I thank the Goddess for friends like you! Without you my sanity would be on even shakier ground than it usually is--especially now, in this time of the Great Turning, when all sanity is under assault.

    Love and Light,
    Linda
     
  9. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

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    Hi Chris,

    I'm sorry I took so long getting back to this wonderful post of yours. I just saved it in MS Word because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to answer every point you raised it one post, given my penchant for writing six long paragraphs in reply to three sentences. I do that all the time in my e-mails.

    No matter how hard I try, I can't be everywhere at once. So if you don't see me around for a few weeks or months, you can safely assume that I'm making trouble and rattling cages elsewhere in cyberspace. The debate on Amazon I mentioned earlier is one of those places, although I've kind of neglected that in recent weeks also. One reason for that is because I've become active on Blogger over the past year. I don't have that many posts on my own blog, but I've developed a bad habit of posting extended comments on other people's blogs--basically treating them like discussion boards. I've been doing that for so long the writing seems to flow most easily for me in a discussion board format. I guess it's a conditioned-reflex kind of thing.

    So far, the long-suffering Rabbi Rami Shapiro has been putting up with my long-winded comments on his blog without complaint. Rabbi Rami is an ultra-liberal syncretist rabbi Dauer turned me on to awhile back. I mean...any rabbi who goes to interfaith retreats at a convent of the Daughters of Wisdom and says the Hail Mary in front of an image of the Divine Mother (he also wrote a book about her) can't be all bad, can he?

    Speaking of Dauer, where has he disappeared to? I don't see any recent posts by him on the Judaism board or elsewhere. I really liked reading his exchanges with BB, even though I had a hard time following them sometimes. I don't have a "classical" Jewish education (I can read the Hebrew alphabet but that's about it) and no academic background in philosophy either, so the going got a bit rough for me at times. But I enjoyed what I did understand.

    Okay, so back to my comment on Rabbi Rami's blog. I posted it a few days ago and just re-read it earlier today. It was another of those spur-of-the-moment things, but I have to say it holds up pretty well and doesn't embarrass me when I re-read it. It's the long one following this post called "Mutant Judaism."
    http://http://rabbirami.blogspot.com/2010/07/mutant-judaism.html

    He's referring to Reform Judaism. I don't think Reform Judaism is a mutant (i.e. with no precedent in earlier forms of Judaism) and explained why in the comment. So far nobody has posted any replies or follow-up comments--I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not!

    I can tell you a little about what brought it on, aside from Rabbi Rami's blog post. As I said at the beginning of this post, one thing has led to another over the past few weeks. And I started asking myself at the end of a long train of associations: What is it that I really believe? When you boil it all down, what do I really and truly believe?

    Because I had been thinking along these lines anyway, the answer came to me almost immediately: I believe in the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria.

    What I mean is that I believe it's as true a model of how the Universe really works as anything anyone has ever come up with. You know I don't mean any of this literally because it can't be understood that way. But I believe there was a withdrawal, a tsimtsum as they call it in Hebrew, to create a space where God was NOT. That's very important, because there has to be a negative space before anything else can happen. There has to be "the Void" or "the Deep" or whatever term you want to use, so that was the first thing to be created. Of course it isn't a "thing" but you know what I mean.

    And then there were the emanations--the number and the names vary according to the system, but in Kabbalah there are 10 of them, with a mysterious added one called Da'ath between Chokmah and Binah that is sometimes there and sometimes isn't, but is never officially counted. In the Gnostic systems (and there are a lot of them!) the names and numbers vary, but they are generated in pairs, with a male and a female Aeon in each pair.

    And then there is The Glitch--VERY important! There's an accident and something goes very wrong. The Gnostics call it the Fall of Sophia (which they explain in a couple of different ways) and the kabbalists call it the Breaking of the Vessels, when the first set of sephirot shattered from the impact of the divine light or energy pouring into them. And it fell into the realm of the klipot--that's Hebrew for shells or husks, like a nutshell or any seed covering. It's the traditional term for the demonic realm or realm of evil, where the fallen sparks became trapped and imprisoned.

    And that's what we're here for, us humans. That's why we were created. To liberate the fallen sparks from their shells. To pick up the pieces. That's tikkun olam, the repair of the world. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it! :)

    Love and Light,
    Linda
     
  10. Dogbrain

    Dogbrain New Member

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    Our "leaders" reject any science behind community, because all the science says that a community of even a hundred thousand people is not viable.
     
  11. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    Hey Chris

    I am not sure why that original reply of mine to your first post in this thread never appeared. I guess I'll try to reply to it now since this post brings up a lot of what was in your first post.

    I think people shouldn't settle for the false dichotomy that society presents. Voting for the lesser of two evils is not going to significantly change things, it's best to not even play that game unless there is a specific issue worth voting for. The fact is we need a huge overhaul of this system and trying to tout the party line doesn't help very much in achieving that overhaul we need.

    Yup, the hippies were onto something. Sadly, many of them were pressured like many other americans to give into the bull**** of the status quoe and forsake the idealism that was born in an age that lacked a true spiritual dimension. It is easy to see how more spiritually awareness leads to more compassion and realization that in order to create a more spiritually fulfilling life for all people; the suffering brought about through economic inequality and political oppression must go.

    It is time that the 90% of the world that has less than 15% of the wealth unites against what truly oppresses them. It's about time progress comes about. Jesus fought the authoritarian plutarchal society he lived in and died because of it. What will it take for people to realize the true reason for the sacrifice of Jesus? It's not about groveling towards someone who died for your sins as many fundies want to make it out to be, it's about realizing that Jesus died for his fellow man to realize their bondage and the injustices done upon them. Jesus doesn't want to rule over you, because you can't rule over someone with love. A ruler implies an ego that cannot be made from any true love so to speak.

    In short, I agree with you 100% Chris. ;)
     
  12. PsychedelicDragon

    PsychedelicDragon Master Psychonaut

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    Individual communities shouldn't even get larger than what democracy can support. Local communities can still set up voluntary federal structures that can help in sharing the resources of the world. A global community can certainly exist, especially with the technology that we have now. Think globally, act locally.

    Either way, it's a lot better than the alternative of massive inequality where 85% of the wealth is in 10% of the population.
     
  13. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

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    PD,

    I disagree with the assertion that a community of 100,000 people isn't viable. That's the equivalent of a large town or small city, or somewhere between the two. I can't believe a population of that size can't be a viable community, unless the leaders (mayor, city manager, police chief, etc.) are so corrupt the will of the community is being sabotaged or subverted. Which can and does happen--ALL the time, as a matter of fact. But in those cases the problem isn't the size of the community, but the fact that the fish is rotting from the head down.

    I agree that a global community is possible and desirable, especially given the technology of mass communication we are using right now to communicate with each other. I visualize it as a series of interlinked national communities, which in turn are a series of interlinked regional communities, themselves composed of a series of interlinked local communities.

    We need to get away from thinking always in terms of hierarchy as an organizing principle. The ONLY time hierarchy is ever necessary or desirable is in wartime or in a military context. At those times the chain of command structure is undoubtedly faster and more efficient. Decisions get made and carried out faster, which can save lives in an emergency situation.

    Democracy OTOH is messy, slow and inefficient. Decisions can take forever as the members argue and squabble among themselves, each absolutely positive that I Am Right and You Are Wrong, and if we do it YOUR way, we will all end up dead and everybody knows it but YOU!!! Representative democracy is somewhat more efficient than direct democracy, but not much. It only works when the elected representatives actually represent the interests of their constituents--a situation which has NOT prevailed here in the U.S. in decades, and it's getting worse by the day, even under an allegedly "Democratic" president.

    Yup, democracy is the least desirable of all systems--except for its opposite, which is hierarchy, and therefore always incipient if not de facto tyranny. That's one of the reasons for my antipathy to the Roman Catholic Church, BTW. Catholics always talk about "the Hierarchy" (capitalized) as though it were actually something to be proud of instead of the opposite. The structure of the RCC is and always has been based on the model of the proto-fascist Roman army and the Roman Empire--and it shows!

    It would be one thing if the Pope could say like Harry Truman did, "the buck stops here" but he never does. The present one, especially, is the biggest whiner and buck-passer of them all! There is NEVER any accountability or acceptance of responsibility no matter what. It's always blame the underlings and blame the victims. It gets pretty tiresome to anyone who doesn't buy into the alleged sanctity of that hierarchy or any other.

    --Linda
     
  14. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Dauer is a rabbi? (.....cool!!:eek:)

    Exactly! This is a question for Brian and BB. Is he going to be like brucegdc -- disappears for a long time, living his separate life away from the forums, never to return to his old job here?

    He better not be dead or in hospital.
     
  15. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

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    Saltmeister,

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, but I was having trouble accessing the board yesterday. I think my Java software needed updating.

    Nah...Dauer isn't a rabbi, but for all I know he may be planning on becoming one. And he isn't dead or in the hospital either. I checked his Facebook page and tried to e-mail him right after I posted about him, but I received a message that he's away at a language intensive (Hebrew) until August 14th. Doesn't mean he'll be back here, but at least he should start answering e-mails.

    --Linda
     
  16. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    August 14th has come and gone. What now?:eek:
     
  17. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    We eat brownies? Say we eat brownies.

    EDIT

    Oh and knowledge instead of faith? Some, some would say they are one and the same.
     
  18. Saltmeister

    Saltmeister The Dangerous Dinner

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    Knowledge, faith, direct experience, dogma -- I have, possess, use and see value in all of them.
     
  19. Dharmaatmaa

    Dharmaatmaa New Member

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    >Knowledge, faith, direct experience, dogma -- I have, possess, use and see value in all of them.

    What use in dogma?
     

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