JosephM

Administrator
  • Content count

    3,750
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JosephM

  1. Weekly Recap Here ------》 http://mailchi.mp/progressivechristianity/weekly-recap-august-22-2017?e=4818d6a086
  2. ProgressiveChristianity.org Weekly Recap
  3. While exchanging comments with others interested in spiritual things, it has become most obvious to me that depending upon who one was talking to, a world appears that is unlike the one we may personally perceive. Our reality of the world is no doubt colored by our perceptions. One may see the world as a hostile place, another as a secure place, one as friendly, another as unworkable or miserable, another sees it as frightening, another as hopeful, another as tragic, another as demanding, another as meaningful and yet another as complete or perfect. These projections of perceptions seem to create a reality of the world that is ever changing as our perceptions change. One must therefore conclude one is not the witness of the ‘real’ world but rather one is actually the source of its 'seeming' reality. When we choose to strip the world of our perceptions, then the world appears as just an appearance. Its melodrama appears as an artifice of our distorted sense of perception. Shed of its descriptors the world of appearances is just seen as it is. Just like watching a movie, it appears as drama and entertainment. Suffering, sadness, and emotions seem to loose reality and a new world seems to emerge. It’s scary in a way because the world as exists through our perceptions seems like it will reject such a cold and indifferent view to its perceived reality. Friends expect reactions in-line with society norms that are in place at the time. But the truth is when all perceptions are stripped, even for a moment, the world one thought was the 'real world' stands up as nothing more than amusement or entertainment. Some have written to me that if this life is not real and is more like a dream then life is meaningless. Yet they may miss the point of all this if one thinks this life is Life. Don't forget there is the dreamer. The dreamer is real. Knowing all this from the perspective of this life as a character in the dream, yes, all does appear meaningless but it is not meaningless from the perspective of the dreamer who is Spirit. The dream is part of the evolution of consciousness seen in the concept of form and time. The dreamer has existence which is evidenced by the dream. It is the dream character that is fictional, temporary and the illusion and therefore in a sense not real. It is the character that is the mind and body which is ephemeral that is saying it is "I" the dreamer when it is not. That is the false which creates the drama of good and evil and all opposites when in reality opposites do not exist except to the fictional character. That may be why Jesus is recorded saying, "You have to lose your life to find Life. It seems to me all major religions at least hint to the same thing. Dying to self to reveal the eternal Self. It may sound like perfect Halloween fare to the character in the dream because through his conditioned thinking mind he is convinced that the character is real and this world is real. And from his perspective it is real. But you are not 'he' because 'he' will disappear and decay along with the world when the 5 senses are disconnected. Yet the dreamer remains as he always was and is, the eternal One Spirit. You may think that what I have said is just a theory but I tell you that when you find your real Self, the one that is eternal and is manifesting the dream, instead of the character in the dream, it seems to me you will know this for yourself. And yes, then this discussion will not matter anyway. It was just another chapter in consciousness being made aware of itself through form.
  4. I have found that if one is truly interested in dreams and makes a conscious effort to explore that area one can have not only very explicit/lucid dreams but also consciously have an alarming control over them. There was a time in my journey where i would wake up and record my dreams multiple times each night in a journal by my bed. It was like living in another world where i knew people i had never seen here and had memory of multiple lives with shocking recollections and different laws whereby travel could be instant and gravity defeated. Rather than continue on that road which seemed never ending with explorations and astral travel, i put it aside. I actually got pretty good at dream interpretation and found direct correlations to waking life. A number of times actually seeing some future events in dreams that actually manifested within days of the dream that were personal and related events to me or relatives that were verifiable. Anyway enough of that. As far as i know, most everyone dreams multiple times each night. It seems to me, they are soon consciously forgotten unless one has a strong and persistent desire to remember.
  5. Rom, It seems to me that our definition of the word illusion is the same or at the least very very similar (not what it seems). Yes using that word can be scary for many and comparing life here as a dream can also raise a few eyebrows. i think it even offends people but i am persuaded that it is logical especially at least for the word illusion when we examine the myriad of factors including the many you also mentioned that indeed color or form our perceptions.
  6. Rom, I agree they appear to be chaotic possibly because of lack of understanding at the present in an extremely complex universe but i believe it is not. I 'see' an unseen order in everything that someday even science may verify. I would not argue the point since i can offer no proof of my view. PS. I have read this "Considering the "Laws" and orderly forces within the Universe I would suggest Orderly over Chaotic, Even Quantum mechanics works within it's own laws. Nothing is truly Chaotic especialy anythinig adhering to cause and effect. "Reference https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/the-universe-orderly-chaotic-or-some-of-both.473258/
  7. You seem to know and understand my position better than i. I'm OK with that.
  8. Thomas, Sorry but I think you read too much into my posts. I have no position on deserve or not deserve whether it be suffering or blessings. I make no distinction nor do I feel a requirement to do so. Personally, you can take any position you want on what is deserving or Not deserving of what and that's fine with me. I choose to take neither side of the coin. The guy who you place in the Nazi camp and is abused can refuse to accept his situation as reality or not. Refusing to accept 'what is ' in my view , only mentally makes the situation more unbearable. I'm not insensensitive to his position but rather saying mentally refusing to accept his position creates internal turmoil. I don't think you understand what I am really saying. As far as worry goes perhaps it would be good to look up the definition. You will see it has little to nothing to do with effective caring for others. Jesus himself is recorded saying. You are in the world but you are not of the world. And again my kingdom is not of this world . Things are constantly changing. Their appearance may seem real enough and permanent but that is an illusion. Paul is recorded saying. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. I think you could say the same about good and evil . Anyway, I will end my communication here as it seems the word illusion disturbs you and is not being grasped in context or by definition . Also the dream thing was only a perhaps or alternate example to say we don't know , so why should we judge who deserves or doesn't deserve what from a place of ignorance or subjective conditioned reality. Do what you can to make this what seems to you a better world as i also do but perhaps it is wise to remember we really don't know. ps what is real http://www.huffingtonpost.com/deepak-chopra/do-we-really-know-whats-r_b_7926894.html
  9. Suggesting no such thing .... just saying i can't say because of my limited subjective view of absolute reality. The God of all things in and through all things in whom we have our being. If these things you speak of exist and this God exists then why would you attribute these things to any other? Perhaps there is a better answer similar to those such as i have suggested at the end of my last post? I said good and evil were mental constructs and some would even say illusions and i would not disagree but perhaps you do not understand the meaning of illusion as i clarified as meaning "not what they seem to be". Suffering i defined above as mental anguish which is different than pain. Its cause, if one wishes to call it cause, (i call it precondition) is mental resistance to what is. Well, frankly that seems to me not reality for you (a suffering free world) and so many others so it might be wise to accept reality as is and try working from there. Perhaps you will find a benefit from that advice? It seems to me all things are possible but if one chooses to not accept "what is" that is understandable but seems to me to be a choice of no benefit. But each to his or her own choice. One must worry? Seems to me Jesus is recorded giving some good advice "Let not your heart be troubled" . Worrying i have found gives way to anxiety and away from peace and i have found i seem to work better when i am worry free. How do you know this? When i dream, my dreams seem real enough, til i wake up. Perhaps after many of these dreams you will wake up from this dream from which all seemed most real. We call this the wake state and the other the dream state and then when all time and images cease we call it deep sleep. Deep sleep is devoid of images and time and a place of unspeakable peace . To me, the 3rd state is closer to reality, the unconditioned , the unmanifest. Howbeit while there, I am, and am able to bring back Life to the wake state with me? PS Illusion - a thing that is or is likely to be wrongly perceived or interpreted by the senses. Most all what people call opposites are mere illusions.
  10. Ok thomas, real suffering to the carnal mind but deserved or undeserved how can we say or judge such with our limited view observing in the ignorance of impermanence. I say seemingly real to humanity but yes, they are mental constructs (good and evil). Some would even say illusions and i would not disagree. Illusions meaning not what they seem to be. They are addressed because that is what comes forth from the place of peace where abides compassion / love. When one mentally accepts their Cancer, hunger or whatever it is that is painful or dreaded, the pain or condition may stay but suffering (mental anguish) is ended. I have passed the ripe age of 70 and whether i was in extreme pain for those years or extreme joy will make little difference in a relatively short time when the body expires. Life here is like a vapor that appears and then shortly vanishes away as the dew in the morning. I am at peace with that. I am blind on my left side and i am at peace with that. I may come down with Cancer or some other ailment that will take my body or not. What difference does it make if i accept that which i am dealt? I have found it makes much difference as i watch my life unfold with whatever it brings from a place of internal peace which seems to me to abide in all humans though not necessarily experienced by most very much. It seems to me, one can't worry about those who can't find peace or one might lose it him/her self. You can minister, teach and love the best of your ability but the results are not in your hands. So yes, we feed the hungry, minister to those seemingly less fortunate, and work to make this world more peaceful and livable but remember to not get too attached less one allow it to rob ones internal joy and peace. You speak again of deserved and undeserved levels of suffering. I can not say that nor will i judge such. You either trust in God or you don't. You question and understandably so what appears as innocence victims and their plight. Help if i can i will and am. Judge i will not. Perhaps one may wake up and find this life here is as a dream, howbeit a very vivid and convincing one yet no one really gets hurt or killed? Perhaps you have assumed a role as a character in a movie and are now so caught up in the emotions of your part that you forgot you are only playing a part, are lost in it, and experiencing it as real?
  11. Rom, I beat my wife up yesterday ...... she is the victim ...... i am the perpetrator. joking but hope you get the idea of my words as used. PS Perfectly alright with me if you see chaos where i see order. Also ok to name me whatever vowels and consonants you wish to put together for me. You might point close but you'll never get there.
  12. This Weeks ProgressiveChristianity.org Weekly Recap
  13. Well Thomas, Cancers, suffering, what you deem evil, etc, is indeed real to humanity and by no means do i wish to say they are not. It seems to me wise to address those problems from a place of peace/Love as i defined and do what we as individuals and groups can to promote life among our world and its population. Still as we do what we are willing we might remind our-self that life here is temporal in nature and we are just travelers. Impermanence reigns in this world. Whether we live with or among cancer and it takes our physical form, some other disease, have pain and suffering or not, death of the body is a reality and it might be wise while we are here to not attach ourselves to certain mental constructs of them which seem to me to only create even more suffering for ourselves. In other words, do what you can or are willing to, to make this what we believe is a better world, but don't get attached to the results . Sometimes what looks like a good choice may not be and what looks bad works out for the best. So we humbly walk in what we are given and remain at peace with what we are dealt for this very short time not always understanding, and often walking in uncertainty, but with an inward trust and a knowing that this too will pass. Joseph PS When i look i see the universe dancing in an orderly and balanced fashion. For every so called victim (innocent or not i do not know) i see a perpetrator (justified or not i do not know) But this i have seen ....... There are those who are here to make war and are fighters. There are those who will kill and those to be killed. There are farmers who live to make food. There are politicians who make politics and financiers who make money. There are those who live off their labor and those who live off of others. There are those who are hungry and those who are full. There are those who play games and those who are serious. There are those who save the trees and earth; there are those who save the animals. There are those that take and those who give. There are those who speak and those who are silent. There are leaders and flocks; there are priests and the sage. Each according to his appointment it seems. A most wonderful dance is seen of the universe, with nary a dust speck out of place. What more can I say of these things seen; who source is not readily apparent. Existence itself will speak of the truth as I sit dumbfounded in awe.
  14. Hopefully, not to muddy the water but .... Agape (Ancient Greek ἀγάπη, agápē) is a Greco-Christian term referring to "love; the highest form of love, charity", and "the love of God for man and of man for God". Not be confused with philia, brotherly love, it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends, that persists regardless of circumstance. The word was taken from secular ancient Greek. In secular ancient Greek, 26 (agápē) focuses on preference; likewise the verb form (25 /agapáō) in antiquity meant "to prefer" (TDNT, 7). In the NT, 26 (agápē) typically refers to divine love (= what God prefers). It is used in the phrase God is Love in the NT. It literally means God is what God prefers. Man has ascribed God preferring only what man prefers as good but that is not the secular original Greek meaning of the word. At least that is what i have found. Love to me includes as Paul said what we call the good, the bad, and the ugly. It seems to me, what we have at any given moment is God's preference or else it would not be. Love in action is unconditional mental acceptance or mental non-resistance of WHAT IS from which we then can allow wiser choices to surface in our evolution that promotes life as a whole. All judgments made such as cancer or suffering being evil are just subjective mental constructs at least in my mind. Joseph
  15. Done. irreverance is now your display name. You may need to use that as your login name also as the new software only uses one name where the old was possible to have a different login name . Joseph
  16. We of course live in a subjective world of sentient beings so everything is basically subjective in nature. Even Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence said " we hold these truths to be self-evident". Howbeit , not all in the world agree even on those he spelled out as self evident? It seems to me, all we have is subjective truth, absolute truth, i believe will not be found in this world either by science or religions. I'm not sure "it is evident in and of itself" being alone, has any meaning .
  17. The point was not meant to say that the universe is God but that God could be defined in such a way by a person that it is self evident. It is the definition of God in my view that creates the abundance of labels held. Anyway, there is no need to prove anything to anyone. Belief in a God is not mandatory. We each make our own, whether using the word God/god or none based on science , myth or personal experiences. To me, it is sufficient to say that that which is manifested is brought forth from the unmanifested and God is self evident to me in both. i see Order and Design where others may see Chaos, i see this as a world of conditions and effects with cause coming from the unseen. Science seems to say that 'nothing' can't become 'something' so perhaps there must be something that exists by its own power that makes everything else to exist ...... one could say that would be God. Then again, each to his/her own as it is possible to live in peace with whatever label you wish to wear. Perhaps existence only comes from consciousness? If so, try not to lose any sleep over it!
  18. Thomas, Let them argue all they want. It seems to me it is the definition of God that makes a person an atheist or agnostic. Change the definition to that which is evident and the argument disappears. Even Rom believes there is a Universe. If you defined the Universe as God, it seems to me he would not require further evidence.
  19. Thomas, If i define God as Creation, Being, Love, etc. and define those terms, indeed i can say God is self-evident. It is the the word God as commonly defined that begs evidence that cannot be met. To me, God is a subtle presence that has always been in my life as source of that life but for a time was masked by a phantom i called Me. I can relate to what Burl said, which to me was metaphor when he spoke of perception turning off. Mystically or metaphorically it could be compared to the expulsion of mankind from the garden or his eyes/senses being darkened by eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or choosing to abide in dualism. Just some comments...
  20. It seems to me that is a very related and insightful observation Burl. Joseph
  21. ProgressiveChristianity.org weekly Recap
  22. Previously written and posted by myself and re-posted here. It seems to me this is a good read for all, not for debate but for reflection. Joseph It seems only natural, that we as humans seek a reason why, to such things as the happenings of life, the deep questions of our purpose and meaning and such. Is this not part of the purpose why religions have sprung up all over the globe. Even if they have veered in their purpose, were they not a response or attempt to answer these questions to satisfy the curiosity of our nature? Often times it seems we are content to receive these answers as truth because they are generally accepted. Sometimes they seem logical and sometimes not. That brings us to the topic of uncertainty. Can we live with the realization that uncertainty is closer to reality than the answers that seem to make sense for a time. Only to be uncovered as flawed because of projecting human limitation on that which cannot be seen but is the source of all that is seen? Uncertainty is all around us daily, we drive on the roads and live with the uncertainty that the driver on the other side will not pull over in our lane at the last second. We live with the uncertainty that in the next moment the earth could swallow us up in one of natures unexpected disasters, whether it be earthquakes, asteroids, lightning, tidal waves, economic collaspse, famine or wahtever. Yes we live with uncertainty all around us, Will we be the victim of some deraged killer, abandonment by our spouse or best friend, or a myriad of other possibilities? What's wrong with uncertainty? After all, no matter how much preparations we make, can we really avoid a catastrophy that we have no way of seeing? Is uncertainty just something we refuse to live with? Living with uncertainty is only as difficult as we make it because no matter how many bases we cover or precautions we take, uncertainty remains. It is a reality of this world and it is built in to human existence. Once we accept it as a natural limitation of existence here, we can as the flowers and grass do, do what we were designed to do. Increase and mutiply and replenish and care for the earth with all its creatures. The flower does not say, why show i grow and show beauty because perhaps tomorrow i will suffer drought, be stepped on or eaten by insects. Neither do the tree seeds say i will stay up here or on the ground lest i grow and a mighty wind or fire overtake and destroy me. No, life goes on in all its uncertainty doing that whatever is in its design to do. We humans, being more complex, seem at times to allow the thinking mind to make a life of its own. In fearful thoughts of the uncertainty that come from where we do not know, it separates itself from life and creates it own identity. Whose perceived existence is strenghtened by entertaining these fearful thoughts which serve to perpetuates more fear and uncertainty and separation. So what can humans do with uncertainty? We can realize that uncertainty is no an enemy. It is the nature of the thinking mind and not of life. Life itself is not subject to the tenets of uncertainty because we know that Life is energy and it cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form. To identify with that Life is to live life in trust and peace without fear of uncertainty. Life is living in the moment in harmony with the whole. Life is not doing nothing about things but rather in a sense like the flower and trees making internal ajustments in harmony with surrounding stimuli. Life is doing the best with what we have been given and not allowing the mind to attach itself to results. Why? Because while results have measures of predictability based on our experience, they always contain an element of uncertainty. This could be because of unforseen elements. our limited human perception and perspective, or our uncertain nature of the whole. In conclusion, it seems to me that to live predominantly with joy and peace in our life , there has to be an ultimate trust in Life itself. Call it God , Reality, the Unknown, the Unnamed, Being, or whatever label you like. It seems to me, it is that trust without boundaries that will bring you joy and peace in the uncertainty that is part of this life.
  23. How do you feel about abortion and Why? Should it be legal or illegal except for special circumstances? What does the religion you identify with say about it? Here is an essay article taken from ProgressiveChristianity.org on the issue