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thormas last won the day on June 7

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About thormas

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  • Birthday July 20

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  1. thormas

    I versus i

    what's the difference, for you? they are indeed and he continues - a great read. enjoy
  2. thormas

    I versus i

    I give you Hart: "the difference in kind between the material structure of the brain and the subjective structure of consciousness remains fixed and inviolable, and so the precise relation between them cannot be defined, or even isolated as an object of scientific scrutiny." And, "in the end, there will always remain that essential part of the conscious self that seems simply to stand apart from the spectacle of material causality." The brain does not construct what we call consciousness. It is not reified, it is not deified, it is acknowledged as different and cannot be defined by science. Hart adds: "consciousness as we commonly conceive of it is quite real." The 'more' by definition means 'more' than the universe - ontologically prior and logically necessary for the universe to be. Just wanted to offer the non-materialistic position - even though on vacation ;+)
  3. thormas


    Actually I don't like or typically use the word substrate as it suggests an underlying 'material' and that is not how I see Being. I also rarely use ground of being but am more use to this one. I have used both to try to accommodate the use by others. So, we have been over this, but Being is not a thing among other things, not an object among objects it is not a supreme being among other beings - rather it is the very possibility of all that is: it is absolute and necessary whereas creation is contingent and dependent. Again, this has been discussed previously but if you follow through on your book review of one of the books you asked me to suggest (Macquarie or Hart) and I think Hart, being more contemporary, is the best choice, you will see.
  4. thormas

    I versus i

    Praise God ;=] that we are not blind men and women and 'see' that there 'Is' - in all the things that are.
  5. thormas

    I versus i

    Great point on assuming that the 3 in our analogy have an elephant in their experience.
  6. thormas

    I versus i

    I agree, thus the ' ' around the word vulnerable. Also this is from the human perspective in that Being shares itSelf and their is a risk because man can say, No! - again from our perspective. The value of the human characteristics is an argument from the negative, what God is not: for example, contingent, limited, dependent, moving from potentiality to actuality, etc. Also and therefore, not two separate beings, although at times the limitation of language lends itself to that, but being 'in relation' to Being. I agree God is 'the very core' but, my experience is that there is a 'transcendent' element to man in that he reaches beyond himself 'to' the Other who is immanent. However whereas I agree that it is 'a manifestation of God' it cannot be for God's sake for that would suggest need, therefore I opt that it is 'creation' or a 'letting be' of that which is 'other.'
  7. thormas

    Religion - Positive or Negative

    I think we have been over that and others have shared their experiences. I recognize the negative in religion (which like all institutions are man made) as we do in everything else. It could be said and has been said that science has negatives aspects but, I think, instead, that science, the chid of man, is sometimes misused or abused by men. But not always and its proper use is glorious. So too religion, or for me, theology.
  8. thormas

    I versus i

  9. thormas

    Religion - Positive or Negative

    I took a quick look but it wasn't worth the time. Anyone can discuss negatives of religion (or anything else) and many of those who value (aspects of) religion are typically the biggest and best critics because we know what we're talking about - being or having been insiders.
  10. thormas

    I versus i

    a figment could also be something, so it wouldn't be nothing to imagine nothing does not exist is to suggest there is a nothing to consider ............and there is not or, perhaps something is 'not as it seems' and it appears to be nothing - but in reality, it is something - so no nothing In my house there is I and i and the latter is sleeping but the i and the I ........are. I don't imagine nothing because if I did , it would be something: this has been clearly stated above. I feel we are getting nowhere which I assume is appropriate when we are talking about nothing :+}
  11. thormas

    Religion - Positive or Negative

  12. thormas

    I versus i

    A beginning is a boundary for what was not. If nothing is something, then it is not nothing (in spite of one calling it nothing). It is something and we are back to some-thing that is the cause of some-thing else. Which is fine, for now. I imagine .........nothing, because it is not. To see or imagine nothing as blackness is to imagine .......something.
  13. thormas

    I versus i

    Now or not, if the Bang is the beginning, the universe has a boundary. As I said, I was allowing that the idea put forth above (however, pedestrian it might have been phrased) might be what another person might say. I'm simply talking about the physical universe and the idea of the Big Bang. Seems there was nothing and then something or there was something, teeny, tiny that Banged and here we are. I'm good either way. If the latter though, then we can asked what was the cause of the Bang. But this is really not important to me in this thread.
  14. thormas

    I versus i

    Sounds like the Beatific Vision. I touched on this in the Original Sin thread: if, as is clear, we are saying there is illusion, then there are only two possibilities: 1. Absolute Reality does not see/know itself as it is (i.e. Reality) but only as illusion. If this is so, then the Absolute is not Reality because it admits to illusion in itself and Reality is not Absolute because it admits to knowing what is not Real. Or 2. There must be that which is not Absolute Reality, yet is and, as such, is limited (not Absolute) in its knowing as it is capable of only seeing/knowing what seems to be rather than what is (Beatific Vision). We are admitting that there is the' illusion of duality' that collapses or passes away. But, again, it cannot be the illusion of Reality itself, so it must be the illusion of that which is not reality itself but which is, nonetheless, real. So, man (even though his vision of reality and of himself might not be as it seems) is real. I agree there is no object and even that there is no subject: there is IS, and knowing is not of a thing but doing which is being or IS (for example, running is not something to be known, the only knowing of running is (doing) running and in the doing, one is (the) running: there is no separation; 'it' is self-evident, self aware and self-revealing, simply, 'I AM' the running). As with running, it is with Reality. I never expect to fully understand (conceptually) but I 'press' you because I press myself. I know that it is not the contemplation of Reality but the doing of Reality that is Be All and End All. Perhaps it is the limitation of language, but where we differ (at least I think, at this time) is that if Reality is the 'substrate,' it is the substrate of form or mode of being. There is nothing else and Absolute Reality need not be a substrate to itself, so it is the substrate of 'other.' But 'other' is being (since there is nothing else). To borrow from the poetry of John's gospel: this is indeed light of light, being of being, begotten/created not made; the multiplicity of persons in Being. I think there is, for lack of a better way to phrase it, a graciousness in Absolute Reality or what in religion is God in himSelf and there is creation (different in kind from making because with the former, the creator is in the creation). And as to why: is it the very essence of Absolute Reality that it not hoard being but that it go out (figuratively speaking) of Itself as the creative and sustaining mode of all that is? Again, perhaps it is language but ' the formless / Unmanifest' seems to be the the same as nothing(ness). Yet we are: #1 (above) is not, so it is the 2nd option and we are it. Reality/Being is the substrate, the ground of form, the ground of the modes of reality, of being that is man (and all). Again, I too, accept the idea of the 'illusion of duality' collapsing with only the Self/theAbsolute/Being remaining. But illusion, 'seeing as it seems,' is our way of knowing (through a glass darkly); it is also our way by which we might glimpse 'What Is,' have moments of insight 'into' Reality - not as object or subject - and, just like running, give ourselves to it and know Reality/God. In the knowing (it is experiential) that is doing, there is no separation: 'I AM' what Absolute Reality IS.
  15. thormas

    Evolution and Original Sin

    I think, in a real way, sin was inevitable. I too agree that there is (what we have referred to as) absolute reality (what some call God). However, while man may not be all he seems, and reality may be more than it seems to him - nonetheless, this is how he functions, how he comes to know reality. And this includes the recognition and naming of that which is experienced as separate or other. In his beginning, man was self-centered, it was about him, it was about survival. And, as he 'matured' he created laws so he could live in community and 'survival' extended in organized ways to his community and beyond. The judging of others, the setting of boundaries was both inevitable and necessary: for survival (at minimum) and for life, to be alive in the spirit (at maximum). In Reality there is no separation but it seems to us (which is our reality), that there is separation; and, there is the need to navigate and survive and then thrive. And some believe this thriving is when man begins to understand Reality as it is, and overcome separation, or better, seeks to bring unity (Oneness) to diversity. If there is Absolute Reality and it is changeless, it is by definition, all that is. What would be the reason for 'It' to to create or manifest itself; what would be the reason for It to even 'throw itself out from itself" to know itself (for such would suggest becoming and, therefore, change)? And if the Absolute (the big I) does not know itself, but sees itself only as it seems but not is - how can this be considered Reality? If Reality is Absolute, changeless, without separation and 'knows' itself - then what is absolute and changeless cannot change and is Real; Absolute Reality is, in itself, not illusory. However, Reality creates what is not absolute in itself: we have allowed that the (small) i is, even though it understands/sees reality only as it seems because that is the only way it can. If there is illusion or delusion, it cannot be the Absolute Reality's illusion (above): if it were then the Absolute is not Absolute but only seems to be - even in Itself??. Therefore, any illusion, that is, any understanding of Reality only 'as it seems' must on the part of that which is not Absolute Reality (in itself) but, nonetheless is, and is 'other' than Reality or God. It 'seems' -paradoxically - that there is that which is not absolute (in itself), that which is changing (as it moves from potentiality to actuality) and which "sees' Reality only as it is capable of seeing, as it 'makes its way.' I still like the poetry of 'waking to the wonder of Being' in our first moments, then, of necessity, being on our way to 'know'' Reality as it is, so that all becomes One. The paradox: that in the One there is multiplicity, that in changelessness there is change, that in 'as it is' there is 'as it seems' and that in diversity there is Unity. And, in this there is setback (sin) to be overcome. For the Christian, for the person, who 'understands' or who 'is on the way,' the law falls away (it is dead) because we live the spirit that is Reality. This is freedom from sin (self-centeredness) which is the only thing that brings 'death' to being Human: If the only thing we can be is Human, and the only way this is done is by being self-less, if it is not accomplished, there is nothing else to be; there is nothing, i.e. death. Just some thoughts, prompted by Joseph's comments here and in other threads, which I have been thinking about.