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glintofpewter

The Knowledge Of Good And Evil

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From a keynote address made by Allen Dyer in Australia in 2003.

 

"Good and evil are polar opposites of the best and worst of human behavior. We should strive to do good and avoid evil. How are we to know good and evil? Religions chart the course for civilizations, but science (psychology) elucidates the dynamic conflicts that confront each individual. Two ways of knowing, two cultures. Can they be reconciled in a coherent view of moral life? Though science and religion are often seen as mutually incompatible, it is my conviction that a coherent fusion can be achieved."

 

http://faculty.etsu.edu/DYER/lectures/Know...od_and_evil.htm

 

Dyer uses the stories of Genesis and learnings from child development to discuss how we come to behave in good and evil ways.

 

Check out the lecture. Should this be a book discussion?

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Hi glintofpewter,

 

To me, good and evil are not 'polar opposites' at all as expressed by the author. I see 'good' and 'evil' as merely arbitrary points on a continuum of love with the demarcation points being assigned according to, as the author does suggest, the self interests of the one making that determination. In that regard, I see the terms being used

to designate a degree of the presence of love that are arbitrary to the individual, group, society or whomever attempts to define them.

 

Joseph

 

PS Since the article is short it need not be under book discussions and is fine here.

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... I see 'good' and 'evil' as merely arbitrary points on a continuum of love with the demarcation points being assigned according to, as the author does suggest, the self interests of the one making that determination...

 

Joseph,

 

That is a very interesting point of view regarding love. I have been thinking about your comments for some time and offer mine as follows:

 

I believe that G_d exists.

 

I believe that all things are part of G_d.

 

I know that both good and evil exist.

 

Therefore, good and evil are part of G_d.

 

The Book of John says that G_d is love

 

Therefore, love is made up of aspects of G_d including good and evil.

 

 

Is this consistent with your ideas of love?

 

 

Alan

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Joseph, Alan,

 

Thanks for engaging this topic.

 

Jakob Boehme, 1575-1625, proposed that God created "other" so that in the relationship with Other God would know God's self. God is creating everything. Boehme proposed that all goods and all negatives are in this creating. Following Boehme I would say that love does not necessarily contain good and evil. Good and evil are both part of creation not both part of love. In a sense my view would deny that God is love, using love as an attribute. We potentially have a relationship with God and in that relationship experience love.

 

Yes, our understanding of what is good and how love is expressed is relative. I wonder if it would be better to say that our understanding is "fuzzy."

 

I like Dyer's speech primarily it depicts a very human and universal source for the evil that humans do. It is like the reformed concept that defines sin as the self idolatry. I don't think it is the only way to understand evil.

 

"Rock me goddess in the gentle arms of Eden" is a favorite song, but I agree that Dyer's alluding to Eden as our ultimate experience of good is a bit weak. Also - it is not a "Fall" it is a step up, a maturing that now says, " I know what is good and what is evil and I take my responsibility for my part in it."

 

Goodness pre-dates humans on the evolutionary time line. So does evil. In Walter Goldschmidt's "The Bridge to Humanity," he describes the mechanism of "Affect hunger" as the source of our sense of goodness and morality. So that led me to this speech looking for a description of how evil enters the world.

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Joseph,

 

That is a very interesting point of view regarding love. I have been thinking about your comments for some time and offer mine as follows:

 

I believe that G_d exists.

 

I believe that all things are part of G_d.

 

I know that both good and evil exist.

 

Therefore, good and evil are part of G_d.

 

The Book of John says that G_d is love

 

Therefore, love is made up of aspects of G_d including good and evil.

 

 

Is this consistent with your ideas of love?

 

 

Alan

 

Hi Alan,

 

It would seem to me that it is more of a conundrum or riddle since in God I see no evil. In God there are no opposites. Opposites are a creation of the mind of the created which perishes with the using. To me God does not partake of evil. God is the potential by which all is manifested yet evil is not to be found in the nature of God. There is only unconditional Love.

 

Just something to consider,

Joseph

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Dutch,

 

Not familiar with Boehme. I am not very well read.

 

Yes, I would agree that our human understanding is relative or 'fuzzy' at best. It is very difficult to put words to love and words like good and evil but not at all impossible to subjectively experience God and leave all questions behind.

 

Just one view to consider,

Joseph

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Not familiar with Boehme.

 

It is very difficult to put words to love and words like good and evil but not at all impossible to subjectively experience God and leave all questions behind.

 

Just one view to consider,

Joseph

 

Joseph,

 

I know one more name than you do. I like to sound smart. Forgive me. I could have said what I wanted without name-dropping. (Jakob Boehme was a cobbler and amateur theologian in Germany. Well maybe not too amatuer. He published enough books to get ex-communicated from local congregations.)

 

You are right about experiencing God. In his blog my pastor occasionally asks the reader if they have know it all or if they can just live with the mystery, the mystery of experiencing God, experiencing love.

 

Unfortunately, right now I can't. Ever since my daughter spent 50 days in a hospital several years ago, I have been trying to find a way to talk about good and evil that makes sense to me and keeps me connected to the stories of our faith. So I push a little harder to figure things out.

 

What I like about this speech is that it combines child development stages with the progression of human understandings about God through the Old Testament. Especially when Dyer calls Job a new kind of man. New because he doesn't believe that deaths in the family and famine and disease are God's punishments just as victory at war, many children and a good harvest are not God's rewards. Job is grown up.

 

Peace,

Dutch

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Joseph,

 

I know one more name than you do. I like to sound smart. Forgive me. I could have said what I wanted without name-dropping. (Jakob Boehme was a cobbler and amateur theologian in Germany. Well maybe not too amatuer. He published enough books to get ex-communicated from local congregations.)

 

You are right about experiencing God. In his blog my pastor occasionally asks the reader if they have know it all or if they can just live with the mystery, the mystery of experiencing God, experiencing love.

 

Unfortunately, right now I can't. Ever since my daughter spent 50 days in a hospital several years ago, I have been trying to find a way to talk about good and evil that makes sense to me and keeps me connected to the stories of our faith. So I push a little harder to figure things out.

 

What I like about this speech is that it combines child development stages with the progression of human understandings about God through the Old Testament. Especially when Dyer calls Job a new kind of man. New because he doesn't believe that deaths in the family and famine and disease are God's punishments just as victory at war, many children and a good harvest are not God's rewards. Job is grown up.

 

Peace,

Dutch

 

Hi Dutch,

 

No inference meant here and it is i who should be apologizing. Using names and quotes is perfectly acceptable. I was serious in that I am not well read and have not read of Boehme therefor i did not comment on his view since I did not have a sufficient understanding .

 

It seems to me that 'good' and 'evil' are terms that everyone must reconcile at some point point their life. It is a very difficult job communicating and trying to understand deeply with our faculties. I wrote a short piece here

but it does not speak to everyone.

 

At htis time, I would share that understanding/belief you wrote "New because he doesn't believe that deaths in the family and famine and disease are God's punishments just as victory at war, many children and a good harvest are not God's rewards. "

 

Joseph

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Joseph,

 

Thank you for posting the above link. Your thoughts are well presented and they have given me much more to think about.

 

Alan

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Joseph wrote (see link in Joseph's post)

What need has God for such folly? What need does he have for such absurdities of mind?

Well done Joseph.

Absurdities = beauty and ugly, good and evil, love and hate? If this is so then being in the presence of God - can we speak of this - in the presence of God is above this things? Transcends them?

 

Dutch

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Meandering through this thread has done its usual job of setting my mind wandering through its experiences, and perhaps the far too many books read on the subject! Often I wish I was as JosephM, not well read at all..........then I could be more certain that what sense that I feel and know was authentically and existentially mine rather than just some trick of many words remembered, then juggled, then thrown out upon the unsuspecting world! Anyway, I do suppose this all involves in some way the subject of Theodicy, or how to explain the existence of evil given the existence of an "all loving" God. It seems that to understand evil as in some way the product of our own minds is a way forward in the dilemma.

 

From a Buddhist perspective, its well to understand that its famous (or is it infamous?) Non-duality is understood as in a sense embracing the opposites..........rather than being seen as the opposite, itself, of duality. Enlightenment is often identified as some sort of transcending of the opposites, but stern warnings are made concerning this, in as much as it is seen as the final goal, a goal that only comes at the end of a long journey. During our journey we must often choose the "higher" against the "lower", but we should regard these choices and values as a raft, not clinging to them for thier own sake, but always ready to leave them behind to embark on the next phase of the journey.(I thank Nyanaponika Thera for these words, a great Theravada master. Just thought I would drop my first name!) Some forms of Buddhism see the "final" goal as in some sense transcending this world, while other forms seek instead not to "betray" this world at all but speaks only of an "enlightenment" that remains purely this worldly and seeks no "beyond.

 

Master Shaku Soen liked to take an evening stroll through a nearby village. One day he heard loud lamentations from a house and, on entering quietly, realized that the householder had died and the family and neighbours were crying. He sat down and cried with them. An old man noticed him and remarked, rather shaken on seeing the famous master crying with them:"I would have thought that you at least were beyond such things." "But it is this which puts me beyond it," replied the master with a sob.

 

I do think it is necessary to keep our feet on the ground. For me there a "opposites" that must remain so to my "foolish" mind. I remember some incidents reported on the News during the Falklands conflict. The first item was of some servicement returning to Britain at the Brize Norton Airfield, meeting again with their families. A flimsy barrier of white tape had been strung across the runway to keep the waiting families back, yet as the servicement walked towards their families across the tarmac the tape was broken again and again by children dashing forward to run into their father's arms. No sooner had the heart opened to share the joy of these families than the news changed to show a funeral cortege for four young Argentinian airmen in Rio. Their mothers followed the coffins, wringing and twisting their hands, their faces etched with grief. In just a minute, here were the opposites.

 

Anyway, we seem to walk a tightrope. In this world the Absolute is seen through the glass of time and space, contracted and indentified into variety (another name drop, this time Ananda K Coomaraswamy) Or as the Bible has it, through a glass darkly. Like others here I can see "Reality-as-is", the "Absolute", only in terms of infinite light, infinite compassion, with no admixture of "good" and "evil". But on my own journey, here and now, seeking not to cling too tightly, my foolish mind needs to acknowledge and respond in various ways to th "opposites" I experience before me each day.

 

Well, a bit long winded, but I did try to warn you.........

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But it is this which puts me beyond it," replied the master with a sob.

This is the same master/God found in process theology understanding of the divine, I think.

 

Welcome to the discussion.

 

Dutch

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From a Buddhist perspective, its well to understand that its famous (or is it infamous?) Non-duality is understood as in a sense embracing the opposites..........rather than being seen as the opposite, itself, of duality. Enlightenment is often identified as some sort of transcending of the opposites, but stern warnings are made concerning this, in as much as it is seen as the final goal, a goal that only comes at the end of a long journey. During our journey we must often choose the "higher" against the "lower", but we should regard these choices and values as a raft, not clinging to them for thier own sake, but always ready to leave them behind to embark on the next phase of the journey.(I thank Nyanaponika Thera for these words, a great Theravada master. Just thought I would drop my first name!) Some forms of Buddhism see the "final" goal as in some sense transcending this world, while other forms seek instead not to "betray" this world at all but speaks only of an "enlightenment" that remains purely this worldly and seeks no "beyond.

 

Hi tariki and all,

 

It is always refreshing to hear a Buddhist perspective.

 

Since you speak of opposites in general and it relates to the subject matter, I thought I would add a few of my own thoughts. It seems to me that opposites, while they are a linguistics convenience, when viewed as they are commonly used, have an adverse affect on ones spiritual progress. I say this because in my view, it is this allowing the conditioned mind to draw the demarcation line that all too often promotes emotions, irrationality , conflicts, wars and separation rather than unity and peace.

 

Simple opposites such as beautiful and ugly create desirability in mind that can lead to greed, covetousness and the like when in truth who is qualified to say what is beautiful and what is ugly with assuredness. Is not beauty in the eye of the beholder? Everything without exception, is it not beautiful in its own 'suchness' without our judgement? Tall and short are innocent enough but what is tall and what is short? Is it not better to view and communicate by a continuum in height in feet or meters than such arbitrary terms as tall and short which when viewed by some who might resent being called short cause ill will? 'Right' and 'wrong' are to me, probably the two opposites most used that often trigger destructive emotions. Can we not view or look at things more in a continuum and with less provoking emotions as to the degree that things tend to promote and insure and promote life for all? It seems to me there is a more meaningful way to look at all things than to allow the mind to categorize them into opposites.

 

Liberal and conservative may seem like useful terms but who here really thinks someone as complex as a man or woman can be accurately defined by 3 vowels and 3 consonants or 5 vowels and 7 consonants. Perhaps it is useful in discussing politics or even religious beliefs but to me, in my view, it does more to create separation than true understanding. Why do we even need to define others by opposites? Will not their actions be their testimony and their own words speak for themselves?

 

Just my 2 cents to ponder.

 

Joseph

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Joseph wrote

It seems to me there is a more meaningful way to look at all things than to allow the mind to categorize them into opposites.

Allen Dyer said that creating meaning is an attempt to deny death.

Tariki noted that the final goal of Enlightenment is to transcend the opposites.

 

If I can put this together

Experiencing life without the need to explain, categorize, ... is the goal? Or is it not the goal but the way to begin the journey without looking for meaning, categorize, etc., or needing to deny death.

 

Thinking out loud.

 

Dutch

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Joseph,

 

Interesting article – see you’ve also done other pieces as “Koshada.”

I like how this one re-interprets the Genesis story, getting past the mental struggle – reminds me of solving a Chinese finger trap, mataphorically speaking.

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A nice friendly discussion. One of the most liberating comments/opinion/advice I ever found on a forum was when somebody said that they no longer sought to harmonise their viewpoints, and took no notice when contradictions were pointed out to them. Maybe there are dangers in this, yet I do feel that often we have to live for a while with conflicting ideas, each of which seems valuable to us, and trust that what is truly valuable will remain when finally seemingly paradoxical ideas are reconciled at some "higher" level. Generally I sympathise with the view that opposites are an unnecessary creation of the mind and are obstructions to "spiritual" "progress". (I'm also very wary of words like "spiritual" and "progress" but lets not go there!) A "Buddhist" view would be that there are no lines in nature, that divisions are created by our own minds. Applying this to sexuality, each person is unique within their own "suchness"...........yet our minds create the fences and divisions known as "homosexuality" etc and then cast people either side of the line/fence we have made, creating division and judgement. Yet no one is this "one thing or another", each is who they are and is to be respected as such. Empathy rules OK! To be able to think this way is positive - in my opinion - yet when "opposites", lines and divisions are cast aside in the mind of some, "spiritual obstructions" are not cast aside, but basic morality.

 

Charlie Manson is a case in point, a man who pondered on "eastern" philosophy, on such texts as......

 

Should the killer think: "I kill",

Or the killed:"I have been killed"'

Both these have no right knowledge:

He does not kill nor is he killed. (Katha Upanishad 2:19)

 

.......and acted accordingly. No doubt this is an extreme case, yet the dangers seem obvious.

 

From a Christian perspective, it seems that you would have to ponder if the "fall" was a totally unnecessary step in our evolution (rebellion against God), or was in fact a "happy fault". Is it necessary for "created " beings to pass from innocence, then into the knowledge of good and evil, and finally into "transcendence"? Or are we able to dispense with any "Journey" and start with transcendence? A Buddhist would ask just when is it appropriate to leap from the raft! The raft (the dharma, or the teachings - which include morality and a recognition of right and wrong in THIS world) is for "crossing over" not for grasping or clinging, yet to leap in mid ocean when unable to swim........ :o

 

Anyway, this is all to ponder.

 

Another of my favorites......

 

A newly enlightened Westener was walking through the Zendo with an old Zen Master who could only speak a simple broken English. At each statue of the Buddha the Zen Master stopped and bowed deeply. Finally the Westener could restrain himself no longer and spoke up................"I say, don't you think this is all a bit beneath us now. Speaking for myself, I think I would just as soon spit at these statues as bow to them." To which the old Zen Master replied.........."OK - you spit, I bow"

 

Just a hint.......personally I feel this story has nothing whatsoever to do with "tolerance", "live and let live" - or, at least, very little! It is to do with "enlightenment" and its nature. Well, thats my take......

Edited by tariki

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A nice friendly discussion. One of the most liberating comments/opinion/advice I ever found on a forum was when somebody said that they no longer sought to harmonise their viewpoints, and took no notice when contradictions were pointed out to them. Maybe there are dangers in this, yet I do feel that often we have to live for a while with conflicting ideas, each of which seems valuable to us, and trust that what is truly valuable will remain when finally seemingly paradoxical ideas are reconciled at some "higher" level. Generally I sympathise with the view that opposites are an unnecessary creation of the mind and are obstructions to "spiritual" "progress". (I'm also very wary of words like "spiritual" and "progress" but lets not go there!) A "Buddhist" view would be that there are no lines in nature, that divisions are created by our own minds. Applying this to sexuality, each person is unique within their own "suchness"...........yet our minds create the fences and divisions known as "homosexuality" etc and then cast people either side of the line/fence we have made, creating division and judgement. Yet no one is this "one thing or another", each is who they are and is to be respected as such. Empathy rules OK! To be able to think this way is positive - in my opinion - yet when "opposites", lines and divisions are cast aside in the mind of some, "spiritual obstructions" are not cast aside, but basic morality.

Charlie Manson is a case in point, a man who pondered on "eastern" philosophy, on such texts as......

 

Should the killer think: "I kill",

Or the killed:"I have been killed"'

Both these have no right knowledge:

He does not kill nor is he killed. (Katha Upanishad 2:19)

 

.......and acted accordingly. No doubt this is an extreme case, yet the dangers seem obvious.

 

From a Christian perspective, it seems that you would have to ponder if the "fall" was a totally unnecessary step in our evolution (rebellion against God), or was in fact a "happy fault". Is it necessary for "created " beings to pass from innocence, then into the knowledge of good and evil, and finally into "transcendence"? Or are we able to dispense with any "Journey" and start with transcendence? A Buddhist would ask just when is it appropriate to leap from the raft! The raft (the dharma, or the teachings - which include morality and a recognition of right and wrong in THIS world) is for "crossing over" not for grasping or clinging, yet to leap in mid ocean when unable to swim........ ohmy.gif

 

Anyway, this is all to ponder.

 

Another of my favorites......

 

A newly enlightened Westener was walking through the Zendo with an old Zen Master who could only speak a simple broken English. At each statue of the Buddha the Zen Master stopped and bowed deeply. Finally the Westener could restrain himself no longer and spoke up................"I say, don't you think this is all a bit beneath us now. Speaking for myself, I think I would just as soon spit at these statues as bow to them." To which the old Zen Master replied.........."OK - you spit, I bow"

A newly enlightened Westener was walking through the Zendo with an old Zen Master who could only speak a simple broken English. At each statue of the Buddha the Zen Master stopped and bowed deeply. Finally the Westener could restrain himself no longer and spoke up................"I say, don't you think this is all a bit beneath us now. Speaking for myself, I think I would just as soon spit at these statues as bow to them." To which the old Zen Master replied.........."OK - you spit, I bow"

 

Just a hint.......personally I feel this story has nothing whatsoever to do with "tolerance", "live and let live" - or, at least, very little! It is to do with "enlightenment" and its nature. Well, thats my take......

 

Tariki,

 

You raise an excellent point. It seems to me we do "have to live for a while with conflicting ideas, each of which seems valuable to us, and trust that what is truly valuable will remain when finally seemingly paradoxical ideas are reconciled at some "higher" level. " Personally, I find it necessary to most often use the words "it seems to me" or "perhaps" because I find my view is often lacking in a deeper understanding and can only express it as it seems at the time which is always subject to progression. That change to me comes from within and is often triggered by pondering another's words which the mind has chosen neither to accept or reject on the basis of its conditioning.

 

It seems to me that there is indeed a perceived danger in the freedom we are given to at any time 'jump the raft'. Most of that fear and perception, in my view, comes from examples such as you have given with Charles Manson and one could always add David Koresh. It seems to me if I were to allow fear of such to be more than just a fleeting thought then I would have never departed from what many deem 'fundamental Christianity' dogma and beliefs which only serve to keep me in bondage to a religion. Freedom indeed does have its perceived dangers but the alternative is known and it seems to me that an unswerving trust in whatever one envisions has started this work in us is well able to finish it in any moment.

To me, the guilt that often comes from our perceived morality and teachings of religion is not a necessary virtue to correct errors in judgments. Perhaps, there was a time as a child, but now, whereas, wisdom, understanding and increased awareness will suffice.

 

As to what is necessary or unnecessary in our evolution, it seems to me, that all is as it is, and it seems to me that I am okay with that.

 

A while back as I was in deep contemplation, I wrote as best as I could of what i perceived.

 

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.

 

 

Joseph

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As Tariki suggested, the Eden story can be seen as the birth of consciousness--human beings had no free will unless they had alternatives to choose from, both good and bad.

And we’re probably all familiar with the “hubris” interpretation of good and evil -- humans punished for disobeying, exceeding God-given limits.

But these two perspectives seem incompatible – either God gives humans autonomy and freedom of choice, or God does not want humans desiring to know more, to satisfy curiosity.

 

A more psychological angle is that life in the womb is a “paradise” of undifferentiated unity; whereas the process of growing up means distinguishing oneself from the world and one thing from another, until we are all exiles in a world of division, anxiety, suffering.

 

There is also the view that the primal act was sloth – not laziness, but “letting the serpent decide” -- internalizing and living in the agenda of others, including parents, culture, religion. Uncritically accepting ideas, such as the snake saying that to know good and evil is to be Godlike.

 

For me these last two views combine the biblical with the scientific in an enlightened way (if I can use that term!)

 

The word “fall” never actually occurs in the story --nor does “original sin.” The Genesis myth is such a classic because the language is evocative rather than pointing to one specific meaning.

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(snip)

A more psychological angle is that life in the womb is a "paradise" of undifferentiated unity; whereas the process of growing up means distinguishing oneself from the world and one thing from another, until we are all exiles in a world of division, anxiety, suffering.

 

There is also the view that the primal act was sloth – not laziness, but "letting the serpent decide" -- internalizing and living in the agenda of others, including parents, culture, religion. Uncritically accepting ideas, such as the snake saying that to know good and evil is to be Godlike.

 

For me these last two views combine the biblical with the scientific in an enlightened way (if I can use that term!)

 

The word "fall" never actually occurs in the story --nor does "original sin." The Genesis myth is such a classic because the language is evocative rather than pointing to one specific meaning.

 

Karen and All,

 

It seems to me that both of these views you speak of indeed give a deeper understanding to the story. Having said that, personally, in my view only, I do not 'see' any error on behalf of man/woman. I do not 'see' laziness or slothfulness as a contributing factor but rather man/woman acting out the story and process of creation with the perfection of the nature of curiosity and choice that they were created with. As you, I see no "fall" or "original sin" for which such a view as this, leaves no room for such terms. I only 'see' the metaphysical or mythological story of creation in its divine order as intended with its myriad of choices and consequences as in the creation of a well orchestrated movie embodying all the emotions of the senses of a sentient being.

 

Where does this leave 'good' and 'evil' ? To me, only as a concept in the conditioned and subjective mind of a sentient being whose temporal and unique reality is a product of that conditioning and to pass with the viewing as a vapor, story or dream as an illusion of perceived reality, whereas Reality itself is eternal and indeed the potential by which the story takes form, but found without such conditioned concepts.

 

Just another view to ponder but perhaps not for the light-hearted or to one easily provoked. Perhaps it would be agreeable with me if one just considered my second paragraph nonsense or foolishness. As the author, I am not offended.

 

Joseph

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I have been trying to figure why I have difficulty with the following from Joseph.

 

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.

 

Grampawombat said in the discussion about his definition of God

 

"I describe God as "coming into being." for me, . . . I think that God's power increases through interactions with sentient creatures. Maybe in a million years or so God will be what people seem to think that God already is."

 

Don't ask me why I brought in grampawombat's comment but I feel the two are talking to each other.

 

What makes sense to me is to look at an artist like Georgia O'Keefe.

 

This link shows many of her works.

http://oseculoprodigioso.blogspot.com/2006/03/okeeffe-georgia-naturalismo-abstracto.html

 

Although her paintings in general are spare compared to other artists I think you can a see she "[pares] away the unessential" leaving an almost mystic image. It is an evolution, first developing a visual language of her own, and then reducing it to its simplest message.

 

Joseph, does this have any resonance with you?

 

Dutch

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Dutch,

 

The art work you linked speaks to me well but not in words but more so in feelings.

The words i used in the post you referenced speak of nothing new but are not ordinary thoughts and they point beyond to a divine dance of the universe that is seen not with eyes when looked at beyond the words or any possible concepts they represent in you. They were not meant to engage the thinking mind. The art is even more abstract and more easily can take one beyond thinking. That, the two have in common. There is nothing to figure out. One either gets it or not and there is no blame or acclaim either way.

 

As far as grampawombats quote, perhaps it does, yet I simply do not understand it in the context that it relates to mine.

 

Regards,

Joseph

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Joseph,

I think the connection I was trying to make with grampawombat's quote is the sense of the evolution of our ideas about God, even the evolution of God until God becomes all those things we think about God now - the connection between all that and the evolution of an artist's work which evolves to the point where there are no distractions in the painting, only what is needed.

 

I was wondering if you had experienced a similar journey, an evolution of your understanding to now when you can say

 

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.

 

Dutch

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Joseph,

I think the connection I was trying to make with grampawombat's quote is the sense of the evolution of our ideas about God, even the evolution of God until God becomes all those things we think about God now - the connection between all that and the evolution of an artist's work which evolves to the point where there are no distractions in the painting, only what is needed.

 

I was wondering if you had experienced a similar journey, an evolution of your understanding to now when you can say

 

 

 

Dutch

 

Dutch,

 

When I looked at the abstract art you linked, there was no thought or idea about the art. The picture form itself brought me past my thoughts to a place without form.

 

When I wrote those words you quoted it was an after the fact dialog from a formless place whereby "awe" was the foremost human emotion. No words were necessary or needed and the words I later wrote were the only words i could come up with as an abstract to describe the place I had been and still indeed was. There was no journey or evolution of ideas or thought as there was no physical place to go or come from, only stillness and awe at what was and is. The words came from that space and articulated through my vocabulary but the understanding was neither the words or thoughts. Perhaps this makes little sense to the intellect so i will leave it at that since if there is a journey or evolution of thoughts, it is only to remove those which separate us from the truth of who you are and what you already know.

 

It seems to me that there is this great paradox. To me, stimulating words, thoughts and ideas and beliefs in a sense miss the very essence of what they point to. The essence of my words are not in the words but in yourself. If you 'feel' while you read, it is my view, that you will be closer to the essence that they attempt to convey than if you think about them. If anything, words merely awaken us to what we already know deep inside our very being.

 

Just another noodle to add to the soup. laugh.gif

 

Joseph

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The newborn comes to life with no knowledge of good or evil. It is dependent not by choice, but by the cicumstance of not yet being fully developed. When in danger the baby cries. If there is no response, the child soon learns to be helpless. This state can be permanent. As an adult, there will be pure evil and nothing to be done about it.

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