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Everything posted by PaulS

  1. I would gladly, Rom. Maybe one day when this world opens up again! Frankly though, just now my focus is finishing my 3-weeks out here, as we are a completely dry vessel! I suppose my forced temperance could be viewed as a health benefit - probably more physical than mental though!
  2. Suicide is such a tragedy I think, mainly for those left behind. Unanswered questions, thoughts if more could have been done, blame and responsibility, etc. In my previous career as a police officer (some 20+ years ago now) I attended numerous suicides and numerous attendances to notify family and loved ones. Always the same question from them - "Why?". I have a much better understanding of 'why' these days, after having been in such a dark place myself at one point, but fortunately I didn't reach critical mass. I try to encourage anybody getting close to suicide - just keep breathing - you will come through it (whatever 'it' is) eventually.
  3. I do think the world would be a much better place if many weren't so fixated on their beliefs being THE beliefs that everybody else should have. Whilst my hands are free I have grabbed onto bits and pieces from time to time that help me through life. I reckon there's maybe a bit from all sorts of religion, philosophies and science that we can all find a benefit from. But what's good for the goose is not always good for the gander and so we should be relaxed about others not being as passionate about our beliefs as we are. Each to their own I say, just as long as there is no harm done.
  4. I do find news so depressing, but often I find myself unable to 'look away'. Sometimes I avoid it for days at a time, at other times - perhaps if there is a particular relevant item of interest - I'll watch or read as much as I can. Sometimes it makes me anxious, other times perhaps sad, rarely does it make me happy. I wonder if I am one who has both hands free in some ways, as I carry neither a bible nor Buddhism nor any other particular guide in either hand. I'm not recommending that course - it's just where I find myself. I don't really have any particular faith or belief other than we are here, now, and soon we won't be. I try to enjoy now, but I do find it quite hard work with what I feel is lots of responsibility and a ticking clock.
  5. Okay, but divvy up we must if we want to get to the truth - even if the division is simply true or not true. But that in itself is what I am saying is subject to subjectivity, so how can there always be a singular 'truth'? Agreed that there may be truth or a truth in some circumstances that are beyond dispute, even if we don't know it at the time, and I don't have an issue with saying it is true that the earth rotates around the sun, but what is THE truth concerning if Hitler had died as a young boy. Those sorts of concepts don't seem to have a singular truth to me but are in the eye of the beholder (and the 'truth' may differ from person to person).
  6. PaulS

    Back again

    I'm enjoying the 'waffle'.
  7. Yes, this is what I have been trying to express. There are 'hard' truths - e.g. facts that can be demonstrated to support or reject the truth. Then there are 'soft' truths, viewed through the lens of opinion and emotion. So whether something is viewed as good or bad, is an opinion. Is there a singular truth concerning this 'something' - I don't think there necessarily is. So it is in that sense that I was disagreeing with you about there always being 'a' truth. If you were only referring to something that can be empirically proven or not, then I would agree that in those cases there will be a singular truth, even if we can't establish it presently.
  8. PaulS

    Back again

    Blooks sound like a fabulous idea, Tariki. We've done a similar thing with photos. It's easy enough to upload a bunch of photos and text which are then formatted into a printed book that gets sent to you. We've done a few for family holidays, events, and for significant birthdays where we've captured a lot of historical photos and stories. They're great to have on the coffee table and I find I look through them more often than I ever refer to photos I have saved on the computer or in a box somewhere - yes, I'm old enough to have actual photos developed from rolls of film!
  9. PaulS

    Back again

    Sleepy in any rebuttal maybe but be assured that others are reading. There are literally dozens and dozens of purveyors of this site on a daily basis - many just choosing to read and not comment. Each to their own. But if you would like others to engage, please be encouraged to throw a question out there or suggest a response. Prince was an amazing performer and artiste! I do wonder where that guitar went after he chucked it!
  10. I think 'maybe' is probably closer than giving up, or maybe not really trying in the first place? In this Mercedes/Adolf scenario I see the truth as being multiple, not singular (as in the eye of the beholder). I'm sure Adolf's Mum wasn't pleased about him getting run over (bad) whereas others perhaps think it was 'good' for other reasons. I don't think there necessarily always is a singular truth when it comes to emotion, feelings and concepts, as opposed to outright scientific facts like water is made up of H2O atoms.
  11. PaulS

    Back again

    Welcome back, Tariki. Chat away! It seems to me that dream interpretation is almost as wide and varied as interpretation of millennia-old religious texts, so I don't think I'd even really bother trying! But like Rom, I think there are underlying causes to dreams and our brain is perhaps recalling or trying to put together something, whilst simultaneously being chaotic. I remember when I was going through a period of anxiety and depression years ago, I kept dreaming about being attacked by a vicious black dog, sometimes to the extent that I dreamt it was trying to drag me by the throat out of my bed and I'd wake up finding myself half hanging out of my bed! I'm sure the underlying cause was stress and worry, but that's about where I stopped with the interpretation. Anyway, again, welcome back. Cheers Paul
  12. So will committing adultery for instance help achieve community objectives or be detrimental? If it achieve objectives, I think calling it good is understandable, whereas being detrimental would be considered 'bad'. I mean usually there is logic (reasonable or faulty) behind calling something good or bad - it either adds to the community or it takes away from. Absolutely, but at the end of the day, usually the community (perhaps as a majority) are deciding on what they consider good for their community and what they consider bad for their community. Which of that is truth seems to lie in the eye of the beholder, rather than it being the only truth.
  13. I can't see how a community can avoid judging, if indeed that community wants to survive or even thrive. If something harms the community, let's say drug or alcohol abuse, then the community would probably judge those actions as 'bad' or harmful to the community, and may try to minimize or eliminate them. I doubt a community just saying 'maybe' to a problem would be beneficial to that community.
  14. Yeah, I can accept that - the difficulty is in accurately defining any said 'truth'. It may seem accurate to us, but then it is not accurate to another. Rather, perhaps there is a truth amongst that lot somewhere, but likely all sides haven't precisely captured it. I believe truth does exist, just that not everything we understand as truth should be called truth just because we think it is truth. I guess it can be said to exist - it just can't be accurately defined most of the time. I guess good and bad can be assessed as valuable or not depending on what it delivers to the community. If a community wishes to survive or even thrive, then that community must judge good versus bad in order to manage it's existence.
  15. Which is where I question if there can always be a single truth. To me, it would seem not. What is truth for one, is simply not truth for another, very often. So whilst some things maybe we can say are 'true', in general I think maybe there is no 'truth' per se - there's just what we feel is the truth.
  16. It's almost as though people are recognizing the limitations on mindsets within a narrowly defined culture from 2000 years ago! Imagine that! I think 'some' truth exists - at least in how we define it. Most of us for instance accept the truth that the earth revolves around the sun. That's a pretty straightforward truth. Where 'truth' gets icky, in my opinion, is where it is more conceptual. For instance, the 'truth' that something is good or something is bad. That's what I was taking from Campbell - we may seem a certain truth as 'good' for us, but simultaneously that truth of good for us is considered 'bad' by another. So there would appear to be no 'single' truth, rather the truth is so much more broader and all encompassing. Maybe that's what you mean by 'accurate description'?
  17. I read once that Marcus Borg was attributed as saying that Spong was good at pulling things apart and breaking down/dismissing the old understandings, but not so good at putting them back together (or something to that affect). I think it sums Spong up nicely for me - I'm grateful for his education and insight about how Christianity in general has gotten so much wrong about Jesus and God, but what he tries to 'replace' it with doesn't necessarily work for me. I'm not sure there are 'truths' to always be distinguished. Like Campbell alludes to, nothing we do is 100% good. Our 'truth' is probably never going to align with 100% of other people, so it can't be a 'truth' other than for the individual (and maybe a certain number of others).
  18. Yep - with you there. Yep - agree also. No, I don't have a need either. Spong does - but I do wonder if that's because he just doesn't want to fully let go of the concept of God that he was so accustomed to throughout the bulk of his life. Could there actually be a ground of being though - maybe, and I'm agnostic on that. I think insight can be valuable from the point of view in helping us exist in a way that we find 'better' than perhaps other ways without such insight. But whether such insight is a 'truth' or not, can be much more difficult to distinguish. I kinda like "you do what's good for you, I'll do what's good for me, and if neither of us are hurting anybody else (physically or mentally), I'm not sure anybody else should care".
  19. I'm guessing that for Spong, as he considers 'it' the Ground of Being, to me he seems to indicate that he thinks it actually does (or has done) something. For me - who knows. I like that. But Spong might ask 'what' causes this affinity, 'where' does it come from, 'why' this affinity and not another? I'm sure there could be very scientific explanations which we are yet to fully grasp, but then again, I leave room for Spong's 'Ground of Being'. And, I have no issue with writing such fiction if it is what works for the individual. For me where it goes pear-shaped is when individuals start claiming authority or right-ness.
  20. I don't want to put words in Spong's mouth - we've all seen what that can lead to thousands of years down the track! - but the difference I think is that in Spong's mind any unfolding of the universe is a consciousness, in some way or another. Spong feels 'touched' by this unfolding in some way, as opposed to simply recognizing he is but a bit part in a non-conscious drama. And it's not so much anthropomorphizing that Spong does, it's more he questions why should a weed desire to grow? Where did 'this' come from that things want to or simply do try to, 'live'? I think that's beautiful, but we all get inspiration from different sources. Why we do and how we do is what makes life interesting I think, and this itself has us asking questions about why. Bit of both, but mainly the sea. We are shaped like a vessel (some 350m long and 8 stories above ocean level with 5 stories below water level) but are moored to the seabed. So we weathervane around the conditions, including Cat 5 cyclones, but get a little bit of rocking up from time to time. Helps you sleep!
  21. I liked the analysis Spong used once about things desiring to live. What makes a weed try to grow in a crack in a path for instance. No matter what, it tries as hard as it can to grow and live. Now, I think that is overlaying a bit of human emotion on the weed, but I thought it was a fair comment by Spong trying to explain there is something that exists that drives things to live. Maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Absolutely. I think one can take some inspiration from some things, but it certainly has to be a personal view and not one that is in any way provable or historically established, much less promoted as the only way to understand things. Not quite, still bobbing about on the ocean for another week!
  22. My two bob's worth: It could in part be a need to hold on, but I think Spong had a heartfelt belief concerning the existence of a 'ground of being' that plays a part in our self consciousness and in which everything that exists, is rooted. So maybe/maybe not for me. Agreed. I'm not sure why he wants to stake the claim that a biologically born child can't be divine. It would seem that it the specvific claim that Christianity is making - humanly born but 'conceived' by God. I don't believe Mary was a virgin, but his claim does seem nonsensical. I guess traditions such as communion (remembering Jesus in the act and not actually having bread turn to flesh and wine turn to blood in one's mouth). Other traditions such as reaching out to the poor, the imprisoned, the widows etc could still be interpreted literally. I can only imagine that Spong meant Jesus lives on 'in' God, whatever that meant to Spong. Perhaps the disciples 'felt' that Jesus' crucifiction wasn't 'the end' of Jesus in some way. I wouldn't mind a pleasant suprise, but like you, I suspect not. I think that is a good point - Spong needs to define that God or at the very least lay out the elements where he sees people bearing God's image, and in what ways.
  23. He was an awesome progressive christian and an amazing and prolific writer that helped so many break the shackles of traditional Christianity. I sometimes wonder who is going to carry the mantle after the likes of Spong, Borg and others. I'm sure there will be others, but in the meantime, I hope many will read Spong's works to gain a better understanding of Jesus and Christianity.
  24. Packing a bag tonight in order to get a taxi at 4.30am tomorrow to the airport (1hr drive) to then take a plane north for 3.5hrs, before changing to a helicopter for a 2hr flight to deliver me to an offshore gas production facility approximately 250 miles out in the ocean, getting there about 3.30pm. Then a couple of hours work, dinner and bed.
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