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  #61  
Old 05-13-2017, 01:31 PM
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...in other words BP, how will" this fucker bring it" ?

If we are given grandiose shows of power - a bit of supernatural show boating - it might well impress us - but could it change us for the better?

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Old 05-13-2017, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
...in other words BP, how will" this fucker bring it" ?



If we are given grandiose shows of power - a bit of supernatural show boating - it might well impress us - but could it change us for the better?


No, it couldn't. This guy would actually have to make changes. Otherwise he's just another control freak that lays down rules for others to follow like all the rest of the religions of the world. And for me that's just a control mechanism designed by very terrestrial humans to govern and manipulate a large group of other people.

Either you got the key to advance all of us, or your another 'boss.' Well, Fuck you! We don't need another manipulative boss.

Okay, maybe the guy is enlightened and sees the way... but if he can't give it to the stupid masses then it's only good for him. And that's useless to the rest of us. So piss off, I'm goin' round the pub to get another pint, and you can do fuck all for all I care.😀
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
Myers suggested there could be another, more compelling way forward, but all I can find are plot holes.
Only from the standpoint of what might make a good story.

Even if the guy was the real deal, weaving a plot that might lead to a satisfying ending and some higher plane of existence for mankind is an entirely different matter.
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  #64  
Old 05-13-2017, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
BP, let's make up the scenario that you've had a terrible prognosis from the hospital. Something so far advanced that you have only a few months to live. Your wife has heard of someone who can heal, and through desperation and her love for you, she tracks this person down and begs them to come and see you. These are the only desperate measures left open to her, as the medical profession can do nothing more. This person preaches love and kindness. They don't court publicity or earn a dime through their ministry. This person is deeply touched by the love he can see your wife has for you -so he comes. He touches you briefly and claims you are healed in the privacy of your home. The next day, the hospital confirms your condition has gone. Your scan shows the dark mass has disappeared - and the hospital cautiously confirm you have a spontaneous remission - unusual, but not unheard of. The person who healed you says he has helped you because you and your wife are good people - and in return, you must help others in need.

Your story spreads verbally until a reporter hears of it. The reporter seeks out this person and presents his broken arm in a plaster cast, demanding it be healed to prove such supernatural powers. The man declines, because there is only a challenge in the reporter's eyes and not any of the love that he responded to with your wife's petition. The hack writes an article claiming the man is a fraud. This man continues to wend his way around the country, offering a simple message of love and asking people to follow his example. He declines to be interviewed. He refuses to be put to the test by scientists. He will only respond to pure hearts, and has nothing to prove to anyone else. He continues to reach select individuals, who, in return set about spreading his message themselves....

Meanwhile, you and your wife are still dumbstruck by the unearthly presence of this man. You tell your friends, who gently suggest that such remissions are possible and do happen occasionally - and there's no reason why you should suddenly throw yourself into such charitable works.... but this man told you he was divine, and you and your wife have no doubt about his claim because of the way he made you both feel.

What then? Would you change your life? Would you believe what your heart was telling you despite your friends' gentle appeals to reason and common sense?

And this isn't asked with a trace of challenge - i'm asking the same question of myself. This person looks entirely ordinary - blue jeans and a T.shirt. No robes, no beard,...nothing that responds to ANY religious icon. His whole message is love and humility, yet the World would probably demand thunderbolts and more demonstrable wonder than a David Copperfield show or a Harry Potter movie.

What would we need to convince us or change us?
He's just saved your life.

He's shown you and your family how you can improve the World by caring about others and being motivated by love.

But you said that wouldn't be enough for you to make life changes.

Change can only happen from the inside out. We're back to my analogy of parenting again - instructing by example.

If saving your life was this person's way of reaching you - it wasn't enough.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
He's just saved your life.



He's shown you and your family how you can improve the World by caring about others and being motivated by love.



But you said that wouldn't be enough for you to make life changes.



Change can only happen from the inside out. We're back to my analogy of parenting again - instructing by example.



If saving your life was this person's way of reaching you - it wasn't enough.


Then we're back to me not knowing what I would do until it happened. If he saved me from some terminal illness, and I was sure he was the real deal? Yeah, I might devote myself to his cause. But that doesn't mean it would go anywhere. Most people beyond the scope of his miracles would probably not follow.

And I think I might express as much to him: listen... I've seen where this goes dude, and it doesn't end well for you. Maybe we should rethink the whole 'save the world' thing, eh?
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
...
- but could it change us for the better?

Would it change you?

If so...how and why? Would it be a lasting change or one that wears down as the euphoria of the moment dissipates?
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Gaines View Post
Would it change you?



If so...how and why? Would it be a lasting change or one that wears down as the euphoria of the moment dissipates?


I think there exists something in the form of evolutionary change which is possible. There is room there in the head spaces and ether (yeah, I know).

Now, as for an individual with the ability to speed up this process, or as a catalyst for this process is where I'm skeptical.

I'm optimistic for the human race, but it's going to be a long and painful road. There are probably no shortcuts.
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
Then we're back to me not knowing what I would do until it happened. If he saved me from some terminal illness, and I was sure he was the real deal? Yeah, I might devote myself to his cause. But that doesn't mean it would go anywhere. Most people beyond the scope of his miracles would probably not follow.

And I think I might express as much to him: listen... I've seen where this goes dude, and it doesn't end well for you. Maybe we should rethink the whole 'save the world' thing, eh?


If a deity of limitless love and compassion spared your life and enlightened you as to how to be a better man - surely it's YOU who needs to do the work to impress - not the deity?

If the deity has given us free will, the only people that can affect lasting change are ourselves.

If we don't have free will - we're just puppets.

If this being is the creator of all that is - with the power of creation or destruction at will - would we not be humbled by that authority?

Wouldn't we just WANT to be better?

BP, the only person who can "speed up the process" of you being the highest form of yourself is you.

Going back to my original premise - have we become our own gods now? Are we so arrogant and self-assured that our response would be: "Yeah? So what have you got?", instead of, "teach us what we can do to make it better?"

There are few problems in the world that are insurmountable to the human race if we could find it within ourselves to pull together.

But there lies the problem..."finding it within ourselves".
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Old 05-14-2017, 02:48 AM
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I think any attempt to "make the world better" is doomed to fail. We influence ourselves, and a tiny group of people around us, and we tend to disbelieve what we haven't seen ourselves, or anything good that others have seen.

I say, "anything good," because some people will believe anything bad just because it's on TV or the internet.

But at any rate, the skepticism for anything miraculous would render even a mass demonstration moot -- if people weren't there, or knew someone who had been there, they would write it off as "fake news", or some other sinister manipulation of the masses by the powers that be, and to show that they were not to be so easily tricked, they would refuse to believe any of it.

It would have to be a close, personal experience to convert most people, and they would then be wasting their time trying to convert others to what they have not experienced themselves.

I guess that is what amazes me the most about Jesus Christ. In spite of our ingrained skepticism, millions believe he did miraculous things, thousands of years ago, without the slightest shred of proof.

But ultimately, Grace, I think you're asking how you, personally, can convince others of the purity of a man and his message. The answer is, you can't. You can inform people of this man's life, but their belief will come (or not) on its own, and that is the way it should be.

You can't save everyone, and indeed, you shouldn't even try. We all have our roads to travel, and some of us will continue to travel those roads, regardless of how much sense someone makes in regards to the foolishness of our ways.

Conflict is part of this world, and should everyone "see the light" and become loving and kind, conflict would end, thus destroying one of the purposes of this existence.

Your job is to be the best that you can be, and enjoy it while you're at it. That's really all we're here for. You can't really change anyone else's heart; our 'hearts' were formed before we were born, eons ago, and a chance encounter on Earth won't change what we've always been.

You can be kind, and it will go in your favor when you leave this earth, even if it's just in the effect your memory has on those remaining when you go.

I wouldn't worry about a good message going unrecognized -- it will reach those who it needs to reach, and the rest can muddle on until their epiphany occurs. That's the nature of life -- we all get different things out of it, at different rates, and however it happens, it's all for the good.

You say this guy didn't make a big deal of himself, that hardly anyone knows about him, and that's the way it needed to be, for the ones around him to value their lesson. They feel like they've been personally touched by him, an impossibility if he were world renowned. He is theirs, and they are his, and it would not work, otherwise.

We really shouldn't worry about other people's salvation.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for that Prod - yes, I agree with you.

It's down to experiencing a personal connection - we can only really understand what we have experienced ourselves.

I don't really see how a god arriving among us could tackle our issues any faster than touching us one at time, and letting the ripples flow outwards from that individual.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post

BP, the only person who can "speed up the process" of you being the highest form of yourself is you.

Going back to my original premise - have we become our own gods now? Are we so arrogant and self-assured that our response would be: "Yeah? So what have you got?", instead of, "teach us what we can do to make it better?"
".


I don't believe we have souls, or 'hearts' (beyond the biological one), or become spirits, or can have super powers. No gods or deities, no life beyond this one, no karma, no meditating our way into 'higher plains of existence', or any other spiritual mumbo-jumbo.

So, here, I'm just playing a writers game of plot, character and entertainment.

I do think wrt science and technology we are still nowhere understanding what's happening in the universe, and I'm optimistic about our evolutionary chances. Although, there's still a good chance we'll blow it. Good news about that is we won't know we blew it. We'll be dead.

And love... it's a really complex set of ideas and chemical processes. But ultimately it all stems from the brain in coordination with the rest of the biological entity and its drive to continue (how's that for sexy&#128518
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:13 AM
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Yeah -- some people say that altruism is ultimately based in self-preservation.

If you had asked me ten years ago, my view of mankind's future might have been more optimistic.

But I can see now that my view was mostly shaped by a relatively privileged upbringing. Now that I've seen and experienced a few things -- I'm not so sure.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Yeah -- some people say that altruism is ultimately based in self-preservation.

If you had asked me ten years ago, my view of mankind's future might have been more optimistic.

But I can see now that my view was mostly shaped by a relatively privileged upbringing. Now that I've seen and experienced a few things -- I'm not so sure.


Yeah, I'd say altruism is for the good of the preservation of the species. I don't mean to sound cold about it either, there's a lot of warmth and joy and other shit that goes along with that whole idea.

I'm not sure your privileged upbringing falls outside the biological imperative.

In a pencil factory, all the pencils are made in the same way. A small percentage are defective from the start, don't write, for whatever reason. Some get bought and used to their end. Some get bought and never used. Some never get bought at all and are thrown in a bin and forgotten. Some go to people who chew them to death quickly and throw them away. Some to kids who play pencil fights with them. And on and on.

We still have plenty of pencils when we need them.

And yeah, humans are much more complicated, but the same general principle applies.

You may have gotten lucky, but I bet there were lots of points at which you could have completely negated that upbringing. And not everyone can transcend a bad start, but many do.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:50 PM
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Oh, thanks to my grand experiment with better living through chemistry, I came dangerously close to negating my privlidged background.

But I'm really talking about my niavety. I used to think that people were inherently good.

Partially due to my experiment and subsequent work with people who have had similar experiences -- and just that whole world, I've come to believe that people are inherently not bad, at best. I think there's a big difference.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:04 PM
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That seems like the nail on the head. People are inherently not bad.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:46 PM
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Most people.
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Prodigalson View Post
Most people.


Yeah, there are some bad ones, but there are also some really good ones—I mean beyond normal good.

It's the pencils man, the pencils.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:33 PM
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Yeah -- some percentage of people are sociopaths. I guess we really don't know what causes that.

I mean, you can identify a sociopath or psychopath -- and sometimes you can see that they had horrible childhoods, but they might have a sibling that turns out more or less okay. So who knows?

I guess all you can say is that there are good people and bad people and every shade of gray in between.

And extremes of either good or bad behaviour may not be revealed unless there are extraordinary circumstance. I don't think most people know how they might react or behave if the shit really hit the fan.

I'd like to think I know -- but I guess I really don't.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Yeah -- some percentage of people are sociopaths. I guess we really don't know what causes that.

I mean, you can identify a sociopath or psychopath -- and sometimes you can see that they had horrible childhoods, but they might have a sibling that turns out more or less okay. So who knows?

I guess all you can say is that there are good people and bad people and every shade of gray in between.

And extremes of either good or bad behaviour may not be revealed unless there are extraordinary circumstance. I don't think most people know how they might react or behave if the shit really hit the fan.

I'd like to think I know -- but I guess I really don't.


I think psychopaths are born that way. A bad or violent childhood might shape them into a life of the same, but there are also non-violent ones who had good upbringings. Most of them probably fall into this category, and go through life unidentified as such. They can be very successful and are attracted to the halls of power and influence. Almost all of the worlds most famous or infamous conquerors were probably psychopaths.

It's a strange concept, but without these people we would have so much less misery, and also so much less of everything else. In some ways they drive civilizations and new ideas, and in others they bring terrible consequences for so many.

This concept borders on the 'new solution' to the worlds ills that I've been talking about in other threads.
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:34 AM
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I remember reading something about politicians, CEO's and sociopathy.

Not sure about the terminology, but the gist of it was that there are different degrees of it, different levels of how well people conceal it -- not consciously, necessarily -- and that some can compartmentalize to the extent that they can have empathetic relationships with family or friends.

Not sure how you differentiate all that from someone who is just an asshole.

But I suppose those tendencies can allow for behaviour that can be masked as ambition or single-mindedness, strong leadership etc., that all involve stepping on or over people. Someone like Steve Jobs comes to mind.

And you can throw narcissism/grandiosity into it -- it gets kind of complicated.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:37 AM
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Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test is an entertaining read. Not scientific and pretty narrow, but fun.

And Robert Hare's work is very interesting if you like a little more sciency stuff.

It's an interesting topic.
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Not sure how you differentiate all that from someone who is just an asshole.
The psychopaths I've known weren't noticeably assholes -- quite the contrary, unless you knew them well, and paid attention. That's what made them so dislikeable, to me: the fact that they were so well-loved that their nefarious shit was overlooked, or denied by those who had only seen their charming, or loving side, not realizing that any concern or care they showed to another person was carefully calculated to bring advantage to themselves.

Assholes are usually just assholes, and what you see is what you get.
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Yeah -- some people say that altruism is ultimately based in self-preservation.

If you had asked me ten years ago, my view of mankind's future might have been more optimistic.

But I can see now that my view was mostly shaped by a relatively privileged upbringing. Now that I've seen and experienced a few things -- I'm not so sure.
I don't accept that altruism is based in self-preservation.

I think that people have varying propensities for empathy. Some people are so attuned to what goes on around them, that someone else's pain is felt so keenly that they are moved to help - and yes, their own agenda becomes secondary.

Some people have no empathy at all. It doesn't make them evil, or a menace to society - but they serve their own needs and agenda - anything else is background music. They remain unmoved by anybody else's plight except their own.

People plunge into freezing rivers to rescue drowning children impulsively - there's not time to weigh up the potential hazards to their own life - they respond naturally.
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by brianpatrick View Post
I don't believe we have souls, or 'hearts' (beyond the biological one), or become spirits, or can have super powers. No gods or deities, no life beyond this one, no karma, no meditating our way into 'higher plains of existence', or any other spiritual mumbo-jumbo.

So, here, I'm just playing a writers game of plot, character and entertainment.

I do think wrt science and technology we are still nowhere understanding what's happening in the universe, and I'm optimistic about our evolutionary chances. Although, there's still a good chance we'll blow it. Good news about that is we won't know we blew it. We'll be dead.

And love... it's a really complex set of ideas and chemical processes. But ultimately it all stems from the brain in coordination with the rest of the biological entity and its drive to continue (how's that for sexy��)

So, you are your own god then.

If there is nothing else to appeal to as a higher power - and you believe from dust you came and to dust you shall return - you're entirely self-sufficient.

..and the world of BP revolves on the axis of your own wisdom and action?

Millions likely hold the same view - and this is what interests me and has to be captured...

The issue of a deity arriving amongst us would not be purely about belief or non-belief - it's about relinquishing personal power. No matter how compulsive the evidence, could you find the humility to drop your plumber's wrench and "follow him" when you are used to complete autonomy?

I think that we are so used to personal empowerment, it would be extremely hard to yield and comply to a prescriptive form of living - it might be easier to refute that authority in the name of doubt than veer from the coordinates that we have plotted for ourselves.
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Old 05-20-2017, 04:40 AM
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@gabe You have to become your own god. Look as we are were ruled by our unconscious often, you have to make the conscious unconscious. When you talk about surrendering will to a higher power I think youre missing the mark. It isn't an abdication of agency, that's slavery, what it is a unification of the self with the divine and in order to do that you have to lose parts of yourself that keep you from becoming the divine. I mean you can become a slave to anything or anyone whether or not its the divine is irrelevant.

To me the idea of a transcendent personality is unfathomable, especially an anthropomorphic one. But I would concede that the one way to anthropomorphize it is to make the anthro divine.

The other problem I see is that insisting that someone change their mind seems a roundabout way of confirming what you yourself don't believe. To my way of thinking its a case of protesting too much. So much of what it seems is that people are willing to forgo their own personal wants but not through an interlocutor which is what you appear to want to be. But the problem with that is that you will never attain the unification with the divine if you're always focused on why other people aren't trying to attain to the divine. In other words:

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?


Trust me he who thinks himself saved is the furthest thing from.

Edit: Look put it this way you don't need hypotheticals for the divine. If there is a divine its here now in the mundane (and then of course the mundane isn't mundane). I cant remember the source of the quote but maybe it was Flannigan said: Most people cant see the divine because they refuse to look low enough.

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Old 05-20-2017, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Prodigalson View Post
The psychopaths I've known weren't noticeably assholes -- quite the contrary, unless you knew them well, and paid attention. That's what made them so dislikeable, to me: the fact that they were so well-loved that their nefarious shit was overlooked, or denied by those who had only seen their charming, or loving side, not realizing that any concern or care they showed to another person was carefully calculated to bring advantage to themselves.

Assholes are usually just assholes, and what you see is what you get.
Probably a lot of gray areas with this one. I'm betting the lack of empathy might cause some of them to just come off as assholes. While it seems to be a common trait, I don't think all psychopaths necessarily have a charming facade.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
I don't accept that altruism is based in self-preservation.
Don't know the correct terminology, but I'm talking about the development or evolution of the human psyche more than anything else.

At some point, human beings recognized that some amount of helping and being nice to each other was beneficial -- and now, in some cases anyway, the response is more or less automatic.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:16 AM
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(@ Bluey) Exactly, yes, you would have to "lose the parts of yourself that keep you from becoming the divine".

But Bluey -If the deity hasn't changed the person's mindset - why would they WANT to lose those parts?

If there is a strong conviction that there is nothing more to experience than the sum of one's life on Earth, you can't blend with something you haven't been convinced of.

Using Jesus as the example most familiar to my own ethnicity - the Apostle Paul didn't have an independent change of heart to merge with Christ. He had a supernatural experience of power on the road to Damascus which rendered him blind for several days. He changed his life from that point forward - and interestingly, called himself a "slave of Christ" - which I take to mean his 'surrender' rather than an unwilling subjugation of his will.

All of the Bible stories documenting Jesus's conversions began with some show of power/authority or supernatural ability that convinced the mind of the person, and therefore allowed them to open up their heart.

There has to be a point of conviction before any merging could possibly take place.

Even in our own relationships, any potential partner has to convince us on some level that they might be 'the one' for us to sufficiently let our barriers down to fall in love....

So, as I see it, there HAS to be a point of being convinced before anything else can follow.
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
So, you are your own god then.

If there is nothing else to appeal to as a higher power - and you believe from dust you came and to dust you shall return - you're entirely self-sufficient.
Hmm. You can't just be a decent human being who derives his wisdom and intuition from the collective wisdom and experience of all the other human beings? It all has to come from a higher power -- or somehow you are your "own god?"

I don't believe in a higher power -- and I am fully aware that I am not self-sufficient, certainly not when it comes my own wellbeing.

Most of that is derived through my relationships and understanding of other human beings. In other words, I realize it's not all about me...
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by bluewpc View Post
we are were ruled by our unconscious often, you have to make the conscious unconscious.
Do you mean the opposite here?

Jung put it the other way around -- as it pertains to not repeating the mistakes that make us miserable.
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