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  1. 2 points
    Non-Progressive Christian are not allowed post in the Progressive Christianity thread. Which is fair enough. Anyway this led me to clarify for myself, if no one else, Why I am not a Progressive Christian. Progressive Christians: Point 1: Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life; Not sure I believe in the Sacred. The uppercase Oneness and Unity fill me with a little trepidation, I suspect it could be pointing to something that is not really there. I can see a unity and a oneness in existence but ... Point 2: Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey; Sacredness and Oneness of life, again the upper case. Sure the teachings attributed to Jesus might lead to the understanding the S and O of life. But I would argue it is not that we can draw from diverse sources ... we have to. Point 3: Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, ... I have no problem with this, but the wording is strange (I thought). While the word all is in upper case atheists are not mentioned but agnostics are. Also the incentive to write this post to some degree is caused by a lack of "complete" inclusiveness. OK I understand the wish to protect parts of the community; but ... Point 4: Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe; In a way I agree with this statement. It is a bit more complex than that. My behaviour alone is not the "fullest" expression of what I believe. Point 5: Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes; Again not sure what is meant by grace ... but using my definition (an ease) I would agree. But I have admit I find value in reconciling the results of our searches with the scientific method. Point 6: Strive for peace and justice among all people; I have no problem with this, but it is a bit of a motherhood statement,. Point 7: Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth; This brought me head to head with the free will debate. Can the Earth be any other way than it is? Now I might want it be different/cleaner/whatever but then, the universe unfolding will determine whether or not I will do anything about it Point 8: Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love. Well I have had a life-long path of learning. All of us do that to some degree or another. When the universe unfolds I may or may not find compassion Selfless love? "Love your neighbour as you love yourself"? Overall this 2011 version (for me) is harder to argue against than the original eight points highlighted in the front page of the forum. Perhaps it is time to update the points to the new Eight Points? Overall I cannot call myself a Progressive Christian, though (I think) I see fairly closely eye to eye with Paul when it comes to the profane and Joseph when it comes to oneness and unity (note the lower case ) Would others like to comment on where they agree or see differences in their take on the 2011 Eight Points.
  2. 2 points
    Greetings! My name is Miriam, and I have only recently come to reclaim the Christian label in my spiritual life. Coming from a more fundamentalist background, I have had to take time to reflect on my experiences of Christianity from a safe distance before re-engaging with organized religion. The writings of such authors as Rob Bell and John Shelby Spong have been a valuable support in that process. I am grateful to have recently found a local church group that accepts and supports me as an eclectic, progressive Christian, and I now hope to build on that experience by connecting to wider discussions of faith online. I am also in the process of developing a blog that focuses on engaging with faith through questions, so I hope that learning from fellow members will help to better inform my writing in the future. I look forward to taking part!
  3. 2 points
    Good evening, I am a Borg- and Spong-inspired justice-focused Christian. I was raised as a United Methodist and felt my faith gain traction and teeth upon discovering Marcus Borg, and also my aunt who is a leftist-Christian clergy! My hope for joining this space is to connect with other like minded people- especially if they are young-ish professionals who are now at home raising kids in a small community which is quite moderate-to-right leaning (although not fundamentalist!) now that's a tall order!
  4. 2 points
    In the NT, it seems like the standard communication method is "feeling something in ones spirit", visions and dreams, though. Like f.e. Peter on the roof having the animal vision, or Paul seeing a vision of a Macedonian man asking him to come over etc. The quotes make my posts look much longer than they actually are I am dealing with a similar conflict myself. The God I know through experience and intuitions etc. seems to be much more of a peaceful, understanding and a nice guy than the God of the Bible, especially the OT one. On the other hand, especially teachings of Paul and some teachings of Jesus heavily resonate with me. So, I am caught in-between of Christianity and something else that I can't quite define. I have tried other religions, it doesn't work, too much of the Bible is indeed my religion and I lose that if I try any other approach. Right now I feel like I'm too Christian to be anything else, but not Christian enough to be a proper Christian either.
  5. 2 points
    I know the feeling Lani and I felt very much the same when I was going through my period of anxiety and depression (which coincided with my kids being about 2 & 4). My wife was also experiencing post natal depression and we didn't recognize it for that until she sought help. I know there can be a stigma associated with depression/anxiety but I would encourage you to consider talking to a professional if that might be a possibility. There's nothing wrong with that and both my wife and I found such a process exceptionally beneficial. I am not saying that is your predicament, but it could possibly be feeding into your anxiety about your children. I don't know where I read it and I have since had trouble locating it, but I remember reading a a story around that time that I found particularly comforting. It went along the lines of this: A distraught mother had her three young toddlers in a bath, preparing to drown them. She was distraught with the thought that if she didn't raise them properly that they might not 'choose Jesus' and would go to Hell. She thought it better to kill them now as innocents so that they would see heaven, than take the chance of raising them and they possibly end up in Hell. In distress at the thought of killing her kids the woman cried out to Jesus saying "please don't let me do this - take my life instead and spare my children - grant them life with you". To this Jesus replied "Woman, if I loved you so much that I was prepared to die for you, do you really think I could allow you or your children to be separated from me". Now I could have the story wrong (wherever it was written) but that's how I remember it. For me personally, it just made me think that if there is anything 'existential' or 'spiritual' to our existence, whatever it is can only be a good thing in the end rather than a harmful thing. If my kids (or I) get it wrong in our tiny blip of an existence on an eternal timeline, then I'm certain that whatever 'higher power' might possibly exist, it would understand. This in turn has allowed me to better accept the day to day. I ponder spirituality and religion, as I do life in general, however i feel no compulsion to 'get it right' or for my kids to. In the end, they will simply work out for themselves what works for them. Sure, guidance is important in life, and opening up our children's minds to the possibilities of all things (not just the spiritual) is a burden that all parents practice to different degrees, but I rest easy knowing that what works for them, will be what works for them. I hope I make some sort of sense. Cheers Paul
  6. 1 point
    Romney a man for all seasons, the trumpster a man for ..............well, himself.
  7. 1 point
    Thormas my brother, we are a family. We are the body and Jesus is the head. I need you, you need me. That is real progressive Christians. I have to go read the rules better again. My English is very bad. I tired to defend myself.
  8. 1 point
    Merry Christmas! I hope you have blessed holidays with your loved ones. God bless us all! 😃🤶☦️
  9. 1 point
    There are many churches that fall short, but remember in Christianity the focus is on improving the spiritual condition of the Christian giver. The metric is not how much poverty is relieved (the poor will be with us always) but on how much suffering the Christian is willing to accept on behalf of the sufferer (widow’s mite). “Giving until it hurts” requires faith. The well-off who give much out of their abundance are merely acting ethically. The Buddhist understanding is similar. The poor provide the better off with an opportunity for spiritual improvement.
  10. 1 point
    Welcome John (from an ex Brummie) Consider me your new devout agnostic friend.
  11. 1 point
    Welcome John good to have you join the group.
  12. 1 point
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    In a recent post, my 'credentials' as a Progressive Christian (yes, I use that label for myself) were called into question based on, amongst other things possibly, my leanings as an Atheist. In fact, I was told that in regard to the 8 Points that I had "justified myself in a way that works for me". As timing would have it, an article in today's Weekly Progressive Christianity.org Recap really spoke to me and summed up where I have been personally going on this journey (still to yet arrive possibly). I would go so far as to say that the author represents word for word much of my feelings and thoughts. I think it is an article that may also speak to a variety of others in this forum - past, present and future, who find the 'old model' of God not necessarily working for them, yet still associate themselves with PC. Sometimes we are accused of not 'getting' God, of not being inclined to think 'hard enough' about spirituality, and quite often accused of shutting ourselves off to 'spiritual learnings'. This article might help those so accused at understanding they are by no means alone in their seeking, their thinking, their 'philosophising' and indeed, their spritual quest. I have included the link below for your convenience. I hope you enjoy the article. https://progressivechristianity.org/resources/resurrection-as-change-part-iii/ Peace & goodwill. Paul Footnote: I probably should have pointed out when I originally posted above a few hours ago, that of the hundreds and hundreds of posts I have contributed to this forum over the years, most often I have received nothing but encouragement and fair and reasonable discussion from other PC's participating here. Throughout that time I have openly discussed my atheism and lack of traditional belief, and recent events are the first I have seen here of anybody asserting that I am not a PC. What I am trying to say is that overall, I have found PC and those participating here to be generally encouraging on my journey. Thankyou.
  15. 1 point
    Hello, I have recently began my search and i am wondering what peoples experiences are with mediums and psychics. I have talked to a lot of people (including Christians and progressive Christians) who have seen or felt spirits. Furthermore, many of these people have had good experiences with mediums and psychics who also have a connection with Jesus. I personally have never see or felt anything. My worry is that there is nothing......i was raised in a Baptist church but never felt the presence of god. I have faith but this is based on my fears that their is nothing as opposed to actually having felt or experienced anything. Does anyone have any experiences that they would feel comfortable sharing?
  16. 1 point
    I miss the old days (few days ago) when religious people were only irrationally rejecting the reality in your books, now we have been upgraded to delusional psychopaths... But I'll play along and address the points separately, delusions and psychopathy: That definition is seriously lacking some shades of grey and doesn't do justice for the reality! For example; My grandfather was a communist, he believed that the West is evil and socialism is good. By the time of his old days, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary but he refused to believe it. Was he delusional or just stubborn? Delusion is on a whole different level of crazy than mere holding on to a belief, is. People hold on to their false beliefs for all sorts of reasons. Being emotionally invested in to a belief is not the same as delusion. Shades of grey. Secondly, there is no proof that there isn't God. That negative has not been proven (yes, negatives can sometimes be proven). There is no need to treat the question as if the non-existence of God had been proven, when it hasn't been. A leap of faith there. Hollywood psychopathy aside, the real world definition of psychopathy is also known as anti-social disorder. To put it simply, it means that person lacks feelings such as empathy and remorse and is incapable of normal human attachments. Psychopath "doesn't have a heart". Psychopathy per se doesn't make a person violent but it means that the person might not have emotional breaks stopping his violent impulses, if he has violent impulses. Note; psychopathy is not an on-off condition, only for the purposes of the medical community it has been divided into clinical and sub-clinical psychopathy. It's common for religions to include "knowledge of heart" into the world view. So, actually, atheism is closer to psychopathy than religiousness or spirituality is, because atheism rejects the idea that your feelings or "knowledge of heart" should matter at all in forming your world view. This kind of "brains above emotion" is more typical for atheism than for religious beliefs. Maybe we should rather be discussing does atheism attract / create more psychopaths than religion does, because atheism as an ideology has the same heartlessness and idealization of reason that is detached from emotion, as psychopathy does? Should atheism be considered a form of sub-clinical psychopathy due to rejection of heart as a source for establishing ones world view?
  17. 1 point
    Again, you misconstrue me. I never said that potentiality = success. I said that potentiality was the ability to develop, achieve or succeed. That is not the same thing as success, although there can be no success without it. This term 'human', verb or noun, is a moving goalpost: there is no universally recognisable line between what 'human' is and is not. It's fuzzy at best. It might seem clearly delineated in your mind, but that is entirely subjective - and the assumption that such a distinction exists has long been the source of undue suffering. The potentiality still before us (or within us) is the potentiality not to be or do 'human' but to be or do anything - it is limitless, because it is actualised not alone in ourselves but through our interaction and interconnection with the entire potentiality of the universe, absolute potentiality, God. What puts any perception of our 'humanity' in danger is to believe ourselves or others unchangeable, actualised, devoid of potentiality or limited by names and labels (I'm only human, she's just a girl, etc). We can make ourselves new with every moment, every interaction and every experience - we only have to see the potentiality around us. They were all human. I think you might need to read the bible again, and check that you're not reading judgment into the text. Jesus did not judged the priest or the Levite, nor did he judge the Samaritan. He simply provided an opportunity to learn the answer to the question: "who is my neighbour?" We are the ones who have added the title 'The Good Samaritan', enabling judgement of the other passers by as 'not good'. The point of the story is to draw attention to our desire to label others, to judge them and perceive or assume limitations on their potentiality - not the potential to be 'good' or 'bad' (these terms were not applied by Jesus), but the unlimited potentiality to be other than or more than 'Samaritan', for instance - to be 'neighbour' - and to see potentiality in others - not just a Jew or a stranger, but a fellow human being in need of compassion and care - and interact accordingly. Jesus effectively turned the common judgements or prejudices of the time on their heads - the two men whose labels may imply goodness and righteousness did not act righteously, while the man whose label at the time implied enemy interacted as 'neighbour'. Nor did Jesus judge the woman labelled and thereby condemned by the crowd as 'adulterer'. He already saw her potentiality beyond her 'sin'. He invited the crowd to see her as they see themselves (as more than their sin), and then told the 'woman' to recognise that potentiality and not define herself by past sins. And again, he did not judge the crowd either, but reiterated what was said in Luke: "Judge not, lest ye be judged." It is the crowd and the reader who judge here, not Jesus. I would hope that anyone who interacts with such individuals, or even talks about them, would withhold any judgement, as is their responsibility as a compassionate human being. You probably think I'm being unrealistic to suggest this, given the way society (and indeed Christianity) operates to protect itself from danger or 'evil', and yet this is what Jesus did and what he taught. Sure, it takes courage - more than we have at times - but I would think that this is what we should strive for. I acknowledge that it sounds rational, if that's what you mean by 'holds water'. I guess I also understand why you so strongly believe it - after all, it appears to govern our laws and our sense of safety - but I can't say I agree with your statement of this view. You make a distinction between what these actions do: they don't 'define us' (hopefully not?) yet they 'tell us who and what we are'? I don't see much of a distinction here. I accept that our actions, particularly consistent ones, may reflect a perception of who or what we were, but they have no bearing on who or what we are at this moment, unless we choose to interact with the 'self' in this way. Likewise in our interaction with others. As I said before, we can make ourselves new with every moment, every interaction and every experience, and in focusing on this instant and ever-present ability to change (not just the actual, perceived change over time), we can glimpse absolute potentiality, not just in ourselves, but in others and in all things. It is a civilised society's right and responsibility to condemn Hitler's actions and stop them. But you cannot confidently say that anyone would not be Hitler if they had the exact same (not just similar) circumstances of birth, upbringing, education and life experiences. To dismiss Hitler's humanity is to dismiss the possibility of another human being coming to power, with the support of the people, whose view of the world is so limited or distorted that his subsequent words and actions could bring about so much pain, humiliation and loss - not to mention the possibility of millions of human beings agreeing with him, admiring him and facilitating his mission to 'make his nation great again'...oh, wait... It seems that, for the most part, we continue to believe that we (and all the people we love, respect and associate ourselves with) are fundamentally different in our essential makeup to Hitler. We prefer to separate him out as some horrible anomaly - and yet it seems here we go again... I think perhaps we're closer here. On the one hand we can be called 'human', but on the other hand we are so much more. We are given the entire universe and we can make it more. Too often, we only see the faults, the limitations. If the rock is not seen for what it can be (ie. potentiality recognised) then work cannot start: there is no further actualisation and therefore no movement, no change - only a rock and unseen potentiality (not nothing). Whether potentiality is seen or unseen, ignored or rationalised away, it is still there, and all things are still possible. The rock may just have to wait for someone more aware of potentiality to come along - they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. If what is shaped is not possible (rather than what is possible not shaped), to me this is nothing - or rather, nothing but illusion. Here we delve into mathematics a little, because shape, movement and change can be reduced to mathematical equation. So if an equation cannot be solved, then it cannot be true, and therefore the hypothetical shape, movement or identifiable point seems impossible to graph, and you have nothing but a bunch of symbols that look like they mean something, but actually point to nothing - just an undefined space on a graph. This is what I think 'pure actuality' might look like without potentiality. But then again, mathematics recognises potentiality even here: the ability of an equation to be solved, even if we never actually solve it. With things like imaginary numbers, it also recognises the significance of 'looking' beyond what is actual, to a potentiality that doesn't require interaction (observation) in order to be. And I believe that our unlimited potential remains before us to facilitate the 'creation' of universal beauty and harmony out of the diversity of the unfolding universe, by recognising the oneness and potentiality, not of 'humanity', but of all matter. Our interaction with the life, words and actions of Hitler as a human being, for instance, just as we interact with Jesus' story, enables us to recognise the falseness of perceived limitations and develop a greater awareness of this underlying ability to succeed: to achieve beauty and harmony from diversity. In this way Hitler's unlimited potential remains before him even 'after death'. Most of people just don't see it that way. So be it.
  18. 1 point
    Interesting discussion, as usual. As someone who has looked into Western yoga and meditation practices from time to time, I think the Buddhist practice of attempting to quiet the ego does not seem to be their aim for the most part. The focus is very much on the self: self-love, self-care, taking time out for oneself, centring oneself, improving oneself, etc. The only link to Buddhism is the word 'namaste' spoken at the end of the session - which is taken to mean "we're finished, thanks for coming, you can go home now." That's just my personal experience of the participants' attitudes before and after these sessions, the words spoken by instructors during the sessions, and the way these sessions are promoted. I might be a little cynical, but I certainly wouldn't associate Western yoga and meditation practices with the tenets of Buddhism. That's like saying that attending church every Sunday is living the life of a Christian. As for DPD, I think the feeling of disconnect associated with this disorder suggests that it is not the same as the Buddhist concept of 'not self' - which seems to be more a perception of interconnection that renders any sense of self irrelevant, rather than this sense of disconnection from a self that one still believes is essential. Just thinking out loud...
  19. 1 point
    Sorry, Rom - I don't believe in summaries How did I form a belief that Jesus was born of a virgin? By trusting the source (parents, teachers, clergy, books, etc). I had an almost cloistered childhood - 'beliefs' were synonymous with facts. How did I lose that belief? By holding it up to logic and knowledge. I wouldn't at first - instead I tucked it away unchallenged for years, safeguarded as a connection to my family and culture. This is imperfectly simplified, but I think losing a belief is a conscious action to reject information that was previously trusted - it doesn't just happen when you're exposed to accurate and conflicting information. The mind is surprisingly adept at holding conflicting ideas safely apart from each other...one tied to logic and the other to emotion, for instance.
  20. 1 point
    Caption Contest
  21. 1 point
    I disagree: I don't think the rules of etiquette for the site violate the teachings or the real meaning of the message of Jesus. And this house "is worthy."
  22. 1 point
    Adding "a little bit of humor" to the mix: The issue raised pertaining to (someone's/anyone's) presumptuously ascribing his or her personal point of view and/or conclusions deriving therefrom to a collective 'we' reminded me of the joke relating to the Lone Ranger and Tonto who, according to the joke, were at one point surrounded and besieged by much greater force of hostile (colloquially called) 'Indians'. As they were running out of bullets with the Indians closing in on them, the Lone Ranger turned to Tonto and said: "We've had it, this is the end for us, Tonto!" To which Tonto replied, "What do you mean 'we', Paleface!" LOL
  23. 1 point
    The eminent exponent of zen to the west, D T Suzuki, once said that eventually, after all our explorations, we would become again the old Tom, Dick or Harry we always were. Well, if that is the case, I think I just might have made it- though in my own case it is Derek, Dookie or Tariki..... Yes, I'm now back to being the mixed up, often confused and stumbling idiot I was back in my younger days before my conversion to the Lord and the start of it all ("all"?) In celebration, I have added a new blog, the text of which is to be found below:- My blog is going into print - yes folks, the "vanity project" of the year. The initial print run is of one copy and I have jumped in quick and bought mine before it is sold out. But seriously ( I think ), I did want to print it out. Whatever is held exclusively on a PC is always in danger of disappearing in an instance, even though such disappearance would often be considered a mercy by many. Well, my blog is on Google - but then, is even Google eternal? Anyway, I googled "print out blog" and up came a site "Blookup" which promised to print out any blog for a fee ( of course ) Their site was easy-peasy, even for a non-geek like myself. They imported the entire blog, gave options of fonts and type size, made it easy to design your own cover - back and front - and also offered a very good editing option. A detailed preview of the finished blook is given, "exactly as it will be printed", all indexed. Editing was a bit of a bain. Obviously videos had to go, so farewell Frank Zappa, and the Stones strutting out "Start Me Up". Also the Dalai Lama and the "make me one with everything" joke. Then all the "pictures on the left" ( or right, or up, or below ) had to be amended to "the right" ( or overpage, or above, or whatever) Surely Google could sort this out, I cried in despair.But finally the job was done. My Blook is at the printers. For those of you who just might be slower to catch on............Blog.......Book.......thus BLOOK. Well, the full blog can be viewed WITH PICTURES on mydookiepops.blogspot.co.uk. (Sorry for this, I have always said that my sense of humour would get me into trouble one of these days) .
  24. 1 point
    I wonder if people of an eastern culture would pick up a book by a 'Bob' or indeed a "Joseph' or 'Derek' and think that the author's name sounds more 'sage-like' than what they're familiar with such as Wei Wu Wei?
  25. 1 point
    It has been a long time since I posted on this site. I am a former Eastern Orthodox Christian that has been on a long religious journey. I was raised in Methodism, then became agnostic for many years. Then I practiced Buddhism for a few years. I went to a conservative Anglican church for many years before becoming an Eastern Orthodox catechumen, and this was the first religion I really felt I could call home. Sadly, my priest gave me a very hard time for years, and my parish was overall quite conservative and pietistic. I left the faith after I had a spiritual/mental health crisis and became searching. First at a conservative Episcopalian church, and then finally I found a small ELCA Lutheran congregation that I am now a member of. I would describe myself as not easily fitting into a particular religious box. Though I don't seem to get along well with conservative evangelicals, I would not describe myself necessarily as totally on board with Protestant liberalism, and of course my background is not Protestant. I'm not perfectly aligned with the "typical Lutheran", but it seems as close as I can get to a safe church that believes all the essentials, and they just don't seem like very judgmental people, though I find a surprising number of ELCA Lutherans that have a narrow religious perspective in their own way. They can be socially liberal but theologically very stuffy and wooden. Our church does have a conservative wing that is not insubstantial, as well. My own pastor is from that conservative confessional tradition though in my dialogues with him I have helped him broaden his perspective.
  26. 1 point
    Indeed, tragedies like Grenfell seem to bring out both the best and the worst of people. Overwhelmingly I think we see more of the best than the worst, but still, why others need to be cruel and unkind in the face of so many who feel the hurt is beyond my comprehension. At the very least, if people have nothing nice to say about it then I wish they would say nothing at all. A beautiful film clip Derek. Thanks for sharing.
  27. 1 point
    I'm new to this site and am jumping in here without having read everything that's gone before. But someone in another topic suggested that something I wrote there might be of interest here, so I'm sharing it here. This is an argument from personal experience, not theological belief or scientific research. I realize that that approach upsets some, but I think that ultimately everything we believe is based on our subjective evaluation of what we experience (including what we read about technical matters). So, here goes: My view of the physical world is mechanistic, predictable. That if I press the "Y" key on on the keyboard, "Y" will appear on the computer screen. That if I heat an egg in very hot water, the liquid contents inside the shell will turn solid. That the rotation of the Earth will cause the sun to appear to rise in the East. We constantly depend of the fact that a certain cause will have a certain effect. What happens in the physical world is predetermined by what happened previously. Theoretically, every physical event today was the result of a series of fixed causes and effects since the Big Bang. Of course, some processes are so complex it is difficult to imagine that we could gather enough information for a precise, correct prediction. But I take that to be a limit of our ability to gather sufficient data instantly, rather than a failure of cause and effect. I also recognize that quantum mechanics describes a different process at the atomic and sub-atomic level, but I'm not aware that anyone has claimed that this atomic activity invalidates Newtonian laws at the scale we experience reality. But I do find that my experience of life doesn't match this mechanistic view. First, regarding predictability. After reading your post, I considered how to reply. I thought of one approach, then abandoned it for the approach I am now taking. And, as I type, I revise sentences and substitute new words for ones I have written. That's not how the laws of nature work. Nature doesn't correct errors and make revisions in a specific case. My toaster doesn't correct itself if the setting burns my toast. My radio doesn't correct itself if a short distorts the sound. Nature doesn't "correct" a mutant cell division. One could argue that evolution is self-correcting, but that's not because nature "fixes" a specific mistake; it's just that some causes lead to more enduring results than others. Getting "heads" five coin flips in a row is not due to nature changing anything; it is just a matter repeatedly flipping the coin enough times. When I decide this morning to have a waffle rather than an egg for breakfast, I don't think it is reasonable to believe that that choice was determined at the moment of the Big Bang. I think it is more reasonable to think my human consciousness was able to make an unpredictable choice. Second, regarding experience itself. I experience my life being full of sensations — color, sound, taste, scent, etc. And yet, none of these exist in nature. Grass may reflect electromagnetic radiation of a certain frequency, but there is no color there. Slamming a door may send shock waves through the air, but there is no sound there. We have evolved to have receptors of data about our bodies and our surroundings. But evolution has also created brains and central nervous systems that make consciousness possible, but the raw data bombarding us is useless as raw data; it must be interpreted. So where does data turn into the experience of color? Not in the rods and cones of our eyes. Not in the neurons of our brains. There is no physical locus where we can objectively show that data has been turned into the experience of color. So I conclude that experience is non-physical, and that our consciousness is affected by external stimulus, but is not totally controlled by it. Hence, our consciousness enables us to choose among real options, and that's free will. Our choices are limited by physical realities, and our ability to carry out our decisions is limited by our physical location and capabilities. Free will does not, to me, mean anything supernatural, anything in violation of natural law. It is the product of natural processes that created, first, life out of non-life, then consciousness out of programmed responses, then human consciousness that permits our decisions to take into account abstract concepts. So, that's what made me side with free will. But that's not a decision against cause-and-effect. It's an addition to cause-and-effect.
  28. 1 point
    Energy is united at different stages or vibrations and is never destroyed, but it does interact and change from one energy frequency to a different vibration. One of most fundamental laws of science is the Law of the Conservation of Energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another. Therefore, we can infer that energy is not currently being created. Present-day measures of energy are considerably vast, indicating a power source so great that "infinite" is the best word we have to describe it. The whole cosmos is inter-related energy interacting at different vibrations or frequencies. This unified field of energy is information reacting in a field of intelligence that I label as consciousness. As a Christian I can say it gives me the vision that this energy that makes up everything that moves the force fields of this Earth of ours is a part of the pure energy consciousness of everything or God. We are experiencing this change and will be able to move and flow with it if we see the energy upon which we are moving. I feel we have the choice or free will to see an experience with the unified field if one chooses or not if one wants to see everyone and thing as individual packets of energy. The belief institutions teach us to rely on the systems and not our own connections to the energy around us so we restructure our skills, but I feel we can choose to open our selves to the infinite energy around and within in us to understand the different frequencies and subtle energies that permeates and connects all things. Everything is energy in one form or another and is more than what we perceive with the five senses. We have the free will to see everything as a symphony of vibrations of light and sound, a system of atoms and packets of energy that make up our cells, which are like a system of universes. Each cell being a solar system of atoms with a subtle energy at the center I call consciousness. Each cell is a key to the universe, a consciousness with the information to set us free. They contain energy with the knowledge and experience to shows us that we are not spectators, but participants with free will and co-creators in our existence. The parts of our cells are interacting and changing the electromagnetic fields around us and in us. A tapestry where the vibrations and threads are interwoven in a fabric of interactions. We are not observers of an independent, separate, external world, but participators interacting externally and internally with the whole. The charges and spin of our micro parts affect the micro parts around us. The “Quantum Entanglement Theory” states that there appears to be an eternal inter-connection between all elements. If two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like two people in love. Regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron immediately causes the other electron to change spin as well. Leon Balents, senior author published in the journal Nature Physics an article where he explains that Quantum Entanglement Theory represents the extent to which measurement of one part of a system affects the state of another. In our example, measurement of one electron influences the state of another that may be far away. Scientists have acknowledged that the entanglement of electrons is present in varying degrees in solid materials. This insinuates that information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Some scientists claim that Quantum Entanglement substantiates that there is no such thing as space, and that everything in the universe is in touch. Our inside and outside are only different sides of the tapestry. The inside is dealing with unity while the outside is involved in the duality of objects. We have the free will to acknowledge either the unity or the duality. Therefore; I feel we have free will with a limitation because of the interactions. When I feel pain in the world of duality I have the free will to dive into the unity inside and when I feel I am a participator, I can head out again into duality. Yes, I am a Yo Yo, but I feel I have a small amount of free will to affect the tricks I can perform. I enjoy my individual packets of energy, but like a Buddhist need to bath in the unified field of energy to wash away the attachments that cause pain.
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