Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by brian, Jul 12, 2003.
No escape? Good thing there are minority religions, then.
I love this!
Thomas + dfnj2019 = bromance
No escape from your delusions.
Ego=delusion you said?
Let me rephrase, then.
How do you know the majority religions you mentioned have got it right, and are not just another delusion/ego thing?
You don't have to convince me, I'm really genuinely interested in your reasons.
Language = delusions, words are not the reality they represent.
The answer to your question is a bit of subjectivity versus objectivity to it. Anything based on "reasons" is in the realm of objectivity. However, what is "good" objective thinking is determined by subjectivity. The problem is discussions about religion and spirituality mostly occurs in the realm of subjectivity.
Discussion around religion are built on assumptions taken to be true without any proof. These assumptions are not "reasons". The problem with your way of thinking is you want to have an objective reasons supporting certain assumptions. Religion is a bit like a conspiracy theory. With a conspiracy theory you take a number of information data points and weave them into a plausible narrative. What is plausible and what is not plausible is purely subjective.
For example, an assumption might be "God exists". For an atheist having this assumption is insane. Religion is built on faith. In order for a religion to work people have to "choose" certain assumptions to be true based on no objective reasons. When you have reasons it is a "decision". A "choice" is made based on no reasons. People choose religion because it gives them a better sense of meaning in their lives. Is it "right" is it "wrong" again is purely subjective. Most people believe in philosophical materialism. So any ideas about spirituality are BS.
One of the problems with modern thought is the idea of nihilism. This is the idea that everything in the Universe is just patterns of energy swirling around according to the laws of physics where no one pattern of energy being any more meaningful than any other. The nihilist doesn't believe in God or purpose to the Universe. The nihilist believes everything we do is absolutely meaningless and insignificant on the cosmic timescale. The thing is it is also meaningless that it is meaningless. Since it is meaningless that it is meaningless then to be the ultimate nihilist one would CHOOSE to have a belief system supporting divine meaning in the Universe. And there is value in consciously choosing the axioms we have in our own belief system.
I tend to be an ultimate nihilist and consciously CHOOSE to hold the assumption "God exists" and God exists in a certain way all based on assumptions. You may not agree with my assumptions but that's okay. I am not evangelical.
So to answer your question yes it is ego delusion but I am aware that it is and choose to hold the belief anyway because what I hold to be true based on faith gives me a better sense of meaning in my life.
Thomas knows more about religion than I do. I am just an amateur. We just both have an appreciation for Apophatic theology which is probably the most interesting way of thinking about God I have found.
“One possibility is: God is nothing but the power of the universe to organize itself.”
― Lee Smolin
“But what is equally important, and sobering, is how often we fool ourselves. And we fool ourselves not only individually but en masse. The tendency of a group of human beings to quickly come to believe something that its individual members will later see as obviously false is truly amazing. Some of the worst tragedies of the last century happened because well-meaning people fell for easy solutions proposed by bad leaders.”
― Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
“Space and time emerge from the laws rather than providing an arena in which things happen.”
― Lee Smolin
They'll never get it. But please keep posting useful and intelligent stuff for the people with open minds ... Welcome to IO @dfnj2019 and hope you stick around
Thanks! I can relate to what you are saying.
Well, I'm not that kind of atheist.
You come across to me as a "head" kind of person, all conscious choice and reason and meaning.
What's your take on "heart" matters?
A couple of things. First, I think God knew exactly what was going to happen to the apple in the garden with a naked woman prancing about. And I'm pretty sure God is a woman because no man could ever create something so God damn beautiful. And further, I think the beauty of women are one of our main pieces for proof for the existence of God. Or, if you take a trinity view on the nature of God, then our experience of women is an experience of the greatness of God. And our experience of women brings us closer to God.
In the most simple terms of what love means. I would define love as being small acts of kindness for someone else without any expectations of anything in return.
I would put matters of the heart on equal footing with matters of the mind. I think the heart and mind together form a Unity of Opposites where the tension between the two creates and gives meaning to our thoughts.
I see you like Lee Smolin. I'm really into Rupert Sheldrake. I just love the way he thinks outside the box. In terms of God, I've been stuck resonating on this way of thinking about God for about two months now:
Also, if you want to hear some interesting criticisms of philosophical materialism then watch this "banned" TED talk:
I'm currently reading Sheldrakes' book Science Delusion. Just to give you an idea on my background. In my twenties I was a staunch atheist. Just for fun I change sides and tried to start arguing the theist position. Arguing a pro-theist position is way more challenging! Then a funny thing happened after about 10 years. I started to believe my own arguments! I am now ruined. At this point I choose to believe in certain ways although I not sure I will ever be fully convinced or if I will really know with concrete certainty exactly what truth actually is.
This would mean we have nothing to discuss.
Interesting, but what about women? How do they experience closeness to God?
I have no idea. I would imagine women are closer to God just by the nature of being able to give birth. I've always felt my wife who gave birth to my children was sacred to me.
In the Gita, in plain and simple language, it is stated that Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is none equal to or greater than Him. He is mentioned as the original father of all human beings. In fact, Krishna is said to be not only the father of all species of life, He is the root of the impersonal Brahman and Paramatma (the Supersoul in every entity is His plenary portion). Krishna is the fountainhead of everything, and everyone is advised to surrender unto His lotus feet. Despite all these clear statements, there are those that deride the Personality of the Supreme Lord and consider Him merely another human being. They do not know that the blessed form of human life is designed after the eternal and transcendental feature of the Supreme Lord.
Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.
It is said in Bhagavad-gita that simply by surrendering oneself unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality Krishna, one can surmount the stringent laws of material nature.
At this point a question arises: How is it that educated philosophers, scientists, businessmen, administrators and all the leaders of ordinary men do not surrender to the lotus feet of Krishna, the all-powerful Personality of Godhead?
Mukti, or liberation from the laws of material nature, is sought by the leaders of mankind in different ways and with great plans and perseverance for a great many years and births. But if that liberation is possible by simply surrendering unto the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then why don't these intelligent and hard-working leaders adopt this simple method?
The Gita answers this question very frankly. Those really learned leaders of society*—who are faithful philosophers, politicians, educators, scientists, etc.—surrender to the lotus feet of the Supreme Person, the all-powerful authority.
Those who are not actually philosophers, scientists, educators, administrators, etc., but who pose themselves as such for material gain, do not accept the plan or path of the Supreme Lord. They have no idea of God; they simply manufacture their own worldly plans and consequently complicate the problems of material existence in their vain attempts to solve them. Because material energy (nature) is so powerful, it can resist the unauthorized plans of the atheists and baffle the knowledge of "planning commissions."
The atheistic plan-makers are described herein by the word duskrtina. Krtina means one who has performed meritorious work. The atheist plan maker is sometimes very intelligent and meritorious also, because any gigantic plan, good or bad, must take intelligence to execute. But because the atheist's brain is improperly utilized in opposing the plan of the Supreme Lord, the atheistic planmaker is called duskrtina, which indicates that his intelligence and efforts are misdirected.
In the Gita it is clearly mentioned that material energy works fully under the direction of the Supreme Lord. It has no independant authority. It works as the shadow moves, in accordance with the movements of the object. But still material energy is very powerful, and the atheist, due to his godless temperament, cannot know how it works; nor can he know the plan of the Supreme Lord. Under illusion and the modes of passion and ignorance, all his plans are baffled although being materially learned as scientists, philosophers, administrators and educators. These duskrtinas are of four different patterns, as outlined below:
(1) The mudhas are those who are grossly foolish, like hard-working beasts of burden. They want to enjoy the fruits of their labor by themselves, and so do not want to part with them for the Supreme. The typical example of the beast of burden is the ass. This humble beast is made to work very hard by his master. The ass does not really know for whom he works so hard day and night. He remains satisfied by filling his stomach with a bundle of grass, sleeping for a while under fear of being beaten by his master, and satisfying his sex appetite at the risk of being repeatedly kicked by the opposite party. The ass sings poetry and philosophy sometimes, but this braying only disturbs others. This is the position of the foolish fruitive worker who does not know for whom he should work. He does not know that karma (action) is meant for yajna (sacrifice).
Most often, those who work very hard day and night to clear the burden of self-created duties say that they have no time to hear of the immortality of the living being. To such mudhas, material gains, which are destructible, are life's all in all—despite the fact that the mudhas enjoy only a very small fraction of the fruit of labor. Sometimes they spend sleepless days and nights for fruitive gain, and although they may have ulcers or indigestion, they are satisfied with practically no food; they are simply absorbed in working hard day and night for the benefit of illusory masters. Ignorant of their real master, the foolish workers waste their valuable time serving mammon. Unfortunately, they never surrender to the supreme master of all masters, nor do they take time to hear of Him from the proper sources. The swine who eat the soil do not care to accept sweetmeats made of sugar and ghee. Similarly, the foolish worker will untiringly continue to hear of the sense-enjoyable tidings of the flickering mundane force that moves the material world.
(2) Another class of duskrtina, or miscreant, is called the naradhama, or the lowest of mankind. Nara means human being, and adhama means the lowest. Out of the 8,400,000 different species of living beings, there are 400,000 human species. Out of these there are numerous lower forms of human life that are mostly uncivilized. The civilized human beings are those who have regulated principles of social, political and religious life. Those who are socially and politically developed, but who have no religious principles, must be considered naradhamas. Nor is religion without God religion, because the purpose of following religious principles is to know the Supreme Truth and man's relation with Him.
In the Gita the Personality of Godhead clearly states that there is no authority above Him and that He is the Supreme Truth. The civilized form of human life is meant for man's reviving the lost consciousness of his eternal relation with the Supreme Truth, the Personality of Godhead Sri Krishna, who is all-powerful. Whoever loses this chance is classified as a naradhama. We get information from revealed scriptures that when the baby is in the mother's womb (an extremely uncomfortable situation) he prays to God for deliverance and promises to worship Him alone as soon as he gets out. To pray to God when he is in difficulty is a natural instinct in every living being because he is eternally related with God. But after his deliverance, the child forgets the difficulties of birth and forgets his deliverer also, being influenced by maya, the illusory energy.
It is the duty of the guardians of children to revive the divine consciousness dormant in them. However, no process is strictly followed now in any part of the world, and therefore 99.9 percent of the population is naradhama.
When the whole population becomes naradhama, naturally all their so-called education is made null and void by the all-powerful energy of physical nature. According to the standard of the Gita, a learned man is he who sees on equal terms the learned brahmana, the dog, the cow, the elephant and the dog-eater. That is the vision of a true devotee.
The naradhama who is condemned by the Personality of Godhead can again revive his spiritual consciousness only by the mercy of a devotee.
In propagating the bhagavata-dharma or activities of the devotees, it is recommended that people submissively hear the message of the Personality of Godhead. The essence of this message is Bhagavad-gita. The lowest amongst human beings can be delivered by this submissive hearing process only, but unfortunately they even deny giving an aural reception to these messages, and what to speak of surrendering to the will of the Supreme Lord? Naradhamas, or the lowest of mankind, willfully neglect the prime duty of the human being.
(3) The next class of duskrtina is called mayayapahrta-gyana, or those persons whose erudite knowledge has been nullified by the influence of illusory material energy. They are mostly very learned fellows—great philosophers, poets, literati, scientists, etc.—but the illusory energy misguides them, and therefore they disobey the Supreme Lord.
There are a great number of mayayapahrta-gyanas at the present moment, even amongst the scholars of the Gita. In the Gita, in plain and simple language, it is stated that Sri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There is none equal to or greater than Him. He is mentioned as the father of Brahma, the original father of all human beings. In fact, Sri Krishna is said to be not only the father of Brahma but also the father of all species of life. He is the root of the impersonal Brahman and Paramatma; the Supersoul in every entity is His plenary portion. He is the fountainhead of everything, and everyone is advised to surrender unto His lotus feet. Despite all these clear statements, the mayayapahrta-gyana deride the Personality of the Supreme Lord and consider Him merely another human being. They do not know that the blessed form of human life is designed after the eternal and transcendental feature of the Supreme Lord.
All the unauthorized interpretations of the Gita by the class of mayayapahrta-gyana, outside the purview of the parampara system, are so many stumbling blocks in the path of spiritual understanding. The deluded interpreters do not surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Krishna, nor do they teach others to follow this principle.
(4) The last class of duskrtina is called asuram bhavam asrita, or those of demonic principles. This class is openly atheistic. Some of them argue that the Supreme Lord can never descend upon this material world, but they are unable to give any tangible reasons as to why not. There are others who make Him subordinate to the impersonal feature, although the opposite is declared in the Gita. Envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the atheist will present a number of illicit incarnations manufactured in the factory of his brain. Such persons whose very principle of life is to decry the Personality of Godhead cannot surrender unto the lotus feet of Krishna.
The saint Yamunacarya of South India said, "O my Lord! You are unknowable to persons involved with atheistic principles despite Your uncommon qualities, features, and activities and despite Your personality being confirmed by all the revealed scriptures in the quality of goodness, and despite Your being acknowledged by the famous authorities renowned for their depth of knowledge in the transcendental science and situated in the godly qualities."
Therefore, (1) grossly foolish persons, (2) the lowest of mankind, (3) the deluded speculators, and (4) the professed atheists, as above mentioned, never surrender unto the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead in spite of all scriptural and authoritative advice.
---from the commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami on verse 7:16 of the Bhagavad-gita.
* like Brahma, Siva, Kapila, the Kumaras, Manu, Vyasa, Devala, Asita, Janaka, Prahlada, Bali, and later on Madhvacarya, Ramanujacarya, Sri Caitanya and many others
I have heard, that an ancient king once had a human being presented to a group of elephants, all blind from birth. "O you blind elephants, blind from birth, tell me what a human being is like!" And the group of elephants, blind from birth, said to the king, "Very well, your majesty, we shall do as you wish!" And they each examined the man thoroughly, the elephants, blind from birth, and when they had examined him thoroughly, each one, they unaninmously declared to the king, "A human being, your majesty, is flat!".
When it comes to Indian mythology, just call me Jack Mudhas. Brahma is like a black hole. Every time a star collapses to black hole it creates a big bang event in a newly created space-time dimension.
The quandary for the speculative scientist is that every prognostication is superseded by the newest proclamation.
The scientist say like this...then later the scientist says No. We now find it is like this.
Again later, the scientist says No. We now find it may be like this, and less like that.
The common cold has no cure. No cancer. And even death is still being experimented with.
To wit...Here's today's latest headlines:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The universe is expanding faster than it used to, meaning it’s about a billion years younger than we thought, a new study by a Nobel Prize winner says. And that’s sending a shudder through the world of physics, making astronomers re-think some of their most basic concepts.
At issue is a number called the Hubble constant, a calculation for how fast the universe is expanding. Some scientists call it the most important number in cosmology, the study of the origin and development of the universe.
Using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Johns Hopkins University astronomer Adam Riess concluded in this week’s Astrophysical Journal that the figure is 9% higher than the previous calculation, which was based on studying leftovers from the Big Bang.
The trouble is, Riess and others think both calculations are correct.
Confused? That’s OK, so are the experts.*
They find the conflict so confounding that they are talking about coming up with “new physics,” incorporating perhaps some yet-to-be-discovered particle or other cosmic “fudge factors” like dark energy or dark matter.
“It’s looking more and more like we’re going to need something new to explain this,” said Riess, who won the 2011 Nobel in physics.
NASA astrophysicist John Mather, another Nobel winner, said this leaves two obvious options: “1. We’re making mistakes we can’t find yet. 2. Nature has something we can’t find yet.”
Even with the discovery, life continues on Earth the way it always has. But to astrophysicists trying to get a handle on our place in this expanding universe, this is a cosmic concern.
*aka the Guru(s).
Separate names with a comma.