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  1. #1
    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Default Religion is Arrogance; Faith is Acceptance

    One thing I've noticed over the years on this spinning rock is that people who claim to be "religious" are arrogant about it. They tend to think their framework of belief is *the* framework of belief, and that all other systems must therefore be wrong and evil. Everyone else should be "converted" to their way of thinking, whether via torture, invasion, or just handing out books and pounding on doors to annoy people.

    Those who have "faith" on the other hand seem more willing to accept that others believe differently, that their views aren't perfect, and that there is room for everyone in the world. Those with faith seem to be the ones who cry out "Can't we all just get along?"

    My own beliefs don't fit into any traditional church or religion, but I still feel it's a good idea to "go ta' meetin'" once in a while. For me that's usually a mass at a ukrainian catholic church simply because I'm comfortable with it -- it's how I was raised. But I don't believe as the other parishioners do, and I wonder sometimes how many of them are like me -- there because one feels the need to worship, while not really believing what is being preached.

    I've been to many different churches from different faiths over the years. I think they're all valid belief systems; I just wish they wouldn't take themselves so seriously.

    Two gaping holes in my explorations are never having attended a Hindu ceremony (unless you count lighting candles at a Diwalhi supper), and never having attended a traditional First Nation's celebration. Every First Nations celebration I've had the opportunity to attend was really a variant on Christianity, not their traditional beliefs, so I've only attended a couple of those and found them as wanting as any other Christian sect.

    I want to hear the *traditional* stories of creation, life, death, rebirth, nature, etc., not a regurgitation of the "white man's" beliefs.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    There are thousands of religions you haven't hit upon yet.

    Not to mention the faith that the whate powuh groups have that mindless hatespeech is the sign of some form of "master race" rather than an example of a complete lack of understanding of genetics and history.
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Oh, true enough, but I'll be content to expose myself to the "majors" properly in a life time. Religious studies are just a hobby, not a career for me.

    It kind of bothers me that while there have been numerous studies of the religions which pre-dated Judaism in the middle east, there has been little study of the beliefs in North America or Asia.

    And the belief systems of Europe seem to have been largely buried by the Greek and Roman mythos.

    Or perhaps I'm just not *looking* hard enough for information about those areas of history.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    What makes them major? Popularity of uneducated masses?

    If you're willing to toss your chips in with a faith based system then it very well could have been one single individual who stumbled on the one true path and then never told anyone about it and it all comes down believeing based on "cuz I wanna".



    Me, I'll go with Science and Evidence.
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Well, yes, they're major because they're popular. They're what the MAJORity believes in, for whatever reason.

    Personally I doubt that most people give their beliefs all that much thought. They just follow along with whatever they grew up with for the most part, or maybe change religions to appease a future spouse's belief system.

    Another reason I consider the Hindu and Buddhist religions so important is that they exemplify a rather different world view than Judeo-Christian-Muslim beliefs. They both center on the idea of God and all of existence being within oneself, with a bit of a split on the terminology of multiple "gods" (I think they're more facets of a single existence) vs. a goal of individual enlightenment, but still espousing the idea of many Bodhisatvas throughout eternity.

    The nature based religions I haven't studied much at all, either, because they seem to be pretty straight forward compared to most theologies.

    Ah, lets face it. Despite my claims of open-mindedness, I am at heart still a child of my Judeo-Christian-Muslim culture. Perhaps had I been born Hindu or Buddhist I wouldn't think of there being "one" universe/God at all, but would find it perfectly natural to think in terms of a multi-faceted single existence.
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    I think one thing that keeps me from being an atheist is that while I studied religions, I looked for the common things in the belief systems to try and distill a "truth" for myself. I could just as easily have used all their discrepencies to disprove each other and come to the conclusion that it's all bullshit.

    But reality is. The key distinction between me and an atheist is not whether you marvel at the complexity of the universe, but whether you presume that complexity implies intelligence or not.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Science, logic and evidence beat out fairy tales every time.

    Argument from popularity and other fallacies do not get very far at all.

    Science uncovers what the stars are made of while religion claims they were all put there on a dome in one day.
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    Australian Medical Marijuana Educator Smokin Moose's Avatar

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    Religion is a clumsy human attempt at defining an indefinable spiritual concept.
    I feel that religion is basically a guide to living - a code of moral standards to live by.
    But when you talk of FAITH, then I am all ears.
    [B][COLOR="Navy"][URL="http://shop.vetguru.com/shop/sweet-serenity/"][COLOR="Navy"][SIZE=3]Enlightened Veterinarian's Guide to Treating Pets with Medical Marijuana. Dr Doug Kramer's definitive ebook "Sweet Serenity"[/SIZE][/COLOR][/URL][/COLOR][/B]

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  9. #9
    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Well then, my man, fell free to put all your faith in me.

    At least I'll never lead a crusade against you, molest the altar boys, or write a book saying it's ok to murder the other guy, steal his property, and women are evil just to make myself feel better.

    ..then again, I've got a pretty good record so far.

    Already it's no longer a fair contest.

    Why would you want to believe something without any reasons? I'd want evidence first. Over two Milena ago the Greeks had worked out to 1% the circumference of the Earth. CENTURIES later religious zealots were up in arms declaring that their book had settled the matter and it was flat, no evidence other than a shepherd's unscientific and uniformed opinion required.

    "Faith" is another word for "I'm right 'cause I say so" - let me point to a war in which a particular man claimed that a divine being told him he'd find WMD's and he had the faith to go...oh wait, this just in, a decade later and not a damn thing found.
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    To me, the various religions are about trying to explain the meaning of existence and one's place in that existence. I think of them more as philosophical discourse than hard facts or rules.

    So while I don't believe in any religion, I find the fact that all of them submit to a deity or deities of some sort a compelling commonality amongst mankind's thinking. There *are* ways of thinking that don't rely on any sort of supreme being or beings, but they're very rare.

    I think it boils down to mankind's realization that we are very small and incapable of truly understanding the infinite, and in our fit of wonder we choose to personify that existence and give it a life of it's own. Perhaps it's as simple as our belief that life is the essence of being, and thereby the presumption that existence itself must be "alive" in some form or fashion, no matter how infantile or grasping our attempts to understand what form that life might take.

    i.e. Because we are self aware, we cannot usually conceive of existence without self-awareness. The idea that the universe is cold, unfeeling, unintelligent, and unaware is terrifying to our pre-conceived notion of there being purpose to everything. Even science falls into this trap -- there must always be a reason for the things we study, a pre-determination of fact and reality. We simply cannot fathom true randomness for the most part, except for those who study quantum physics, and even they try to break down things like entanglement to give it predictability.

    And how could we?

    The more we study with our science, the more we find out meaning and predictable rules around the facets of reality. It all seems to be rather organized and planned, leaving the only real question being whether there is a grand architect of those rules.

    I don't think God *created* the rules. I think God is the *personification* of the rules. It's very existence, like our own, is an *expression* of the rules of reality, not an ability to modify them. i.e. There is no "master plan" or "guiding intelligence" -- the intelligence of the universe is at much at the mercy of the rules of reality as we are.
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    Australian Medical Marijuana Educator Smokin Moose's Avatar

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    Sometimes "acceptance" is the key. Like trying to define infinity... I can not properly define infinity as it is endless but I accept that it exists. Same with the concept of a God or higher power. I can not define it in human terms but I accept that it exists. For me I do not need reasons or a guide to lead me to belief in the concept of God.
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    I'll have to remember to come back and toss out some "Thumbs Up" once LT fixes things.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

  13. #13
    Australian Medical Marijuana Educator Smokin Moose's Avatar

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    Over the years, and while here at TY, I had experiences that led me to that state of acceptance. One event and the circumstances in particular I would like to share with you.
    You will recall Tank. He was the first insight into something wonderful and special.

    I just sent this message to Tank's daughter, Dot. I did not post this before as it was too personal to share at the time.

    Please play this song while you read this post. John Williamson True Blue

    Dot, thanks so much for getting in touch. The events after your dad passed
    are still crystal clear in my mind and I am still left awe struck and
    wondering.

    Here are my recollections of that day...


    The morning I woke up to find the email from Sandy was an incredible shock,
    even though I knew the time was close. I had so hoped that Dave would make
    it to Christmas, but it was not to be.

    An hour after I heard the news, I went out into my garden and sat thinking
    about Dave. You see Dot, Dave and I had made a pact that he would give me a
    sign that he had passed over to the new life that was waiting for him - a
    life free from pain and suffering. Dave had always told me to look out for a
    black Lab, but I kept my mind open to other possibilities. I just knew he
    would give me a sign!

    Just before I sat down in my garden, I put the sprinkler on as I usually do,
    in the regular position. Then something very strange happened...

    As I sat looking at the sky talking to your Dad, a twinkling in the corner
    of my eye caught my attention - I turned my head and saw the most incredible mini Rainbow, right in front of my face! It was so unusual that I thought I was imagining it at first, then I started to wonder and looked more closely.

    I have NEVER had this effect occur ever in 17 years of placing the sprinkler where it was.
    This rainbow was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my garden! I raced inside and grabbed my camera and took some pics of it, in case I was actually imagining it - I wanted proof lol.

    I have attached the images I took.

    THEN....the most incredible thing happened!!!!!!!!!

    It was later that night about 11pm, and I was sitting on the same step out
    back with all the lights off. It was a clear night and very still. Now Dot, I am a hermit and spend ALL my time in my back yard and I know every critter that comes in my yard, be it insect, bird, or other. I notice everything!

    I saw a white flash again out the corner of my eye, turned my head and saw this huge white moth - it would have had a wing span of 6 inches. Never seen it before. I looked more closely, when all of a sudden it flew off towards
    my face and did a loop-dee-loop right in front of me, then flew back on to
    the bush where it first landed, not 2 feet away from me. I looked again and
    thought "this is very odd!"...then I looked again, when all of a sudden it
    took flight again and flew in front of my face doing a DOUBLE loop-de-loop -
    that was when I realised something spiritual was going on, so I said "Is
    that you Tank"...then the moth hovered a minute and then flew off into the
    dark of the night, and has not returned.

    Dot, I knew it was Dave telling me he had crossed over. I am not mad and I
    am not prone to seeing things, nor am I a Godly man...but this was the most
    extraordinary thing I have ever seen in my life. I was so moved by this I
    felt tears running down my face. I then went and woke my partner up and told her what had happened.

    Dot, that Rainbow has not been seen again, NOR has that stunning white moth.

    While this is not the moth I saw, I have since tracked down what it was, and it is not one to be seen in this area. I have attached a pic of that moth.

    I hope you find some solace in my sharing this with you. I loved your dad
    and he was my mate. In Australia we would call him "True Blue". Listen to
    the song while you look at the pics of the rainbows.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceWKrsJX9N4

    Dot, I will NEVER forget your Dad.

    Love and sincere regards
    Mark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Shadbot 4.20 Shadimar's Avatar

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    Infinity is a mathematical concept, it is a process but not a specific number or a size.

    I found it easy.
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    Australian Medical Marijuana Educator Smokin Moose's Avatar

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    For me it is moths not maths lol
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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Infinity is one of those interesting concepts that transcends mathematics and gets into the philosophical, the concept of labelling the unknowable and unmeasurable.

    Yet there are many who think we've measured the boundaries of the universe based on our limited understanding, claiming that it grows and continues to grow and that eventually it will reach some magic limit and collapse in upon itself. Yet I see nothing in this day to day reality to believe that is any more than a theory amongst many theories. It fits what we know, but we know so little it's laughable.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    The day my grandfather died, I had a very vivid dream of him standing at the foot of my bed, looking sad in the eyes but with a smile on his face. He said not a word.

    The next day we got the phone call that he'd passed that night.

    I've believed there is something more to existance after death ever since then, regardless of whether it's an "echo" of our passing affecting those closest in our lives, or whether it's a continuation of some "spirit" part of us I do not know. All I *know* is that at some level, we are deeply connected and can sense the passing of those who matter most to us.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Just shifting tack a bit, one thing I've found common amongst most religions is "the stick."

    Do *this*, or you won't achieve enlightenment and escape the mortal coil.
    Do *this*, or you'll burn in hell.
    Do *this*, or karma will get you.

    I wonder why we as human beings focus so much on the negative?
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by groo View Post
    One thing I've noticed over the years on this spinning rock is that people who claim to be "religious" are arrogant about it. They tend to think their framework of belief is *the* framework of belief, and that all other systems must therefore be wrong and evil. Everyone else should be "converted" to their way of thinking, whether via torture, invasion, or just handing out books and pounding on doors to annoy people.

    Those who have "faith" on the other hand seem more willing to accept that others believe differently, that their views aren't perfect, and that there is room for everyone in the world. Those with faith seem to be the ones who cry out "Can't we all just get along?"

    My own beliefs don't fit into any traditional church or religion, but I still feel it's a good idea to "go ta' meetin'" once in a while. For me that's usually a mass at a ukrainian catholic church simply because I'm comfortable with it -- it's how I was raised. But I don't believe as the other parishioners do, and I wonder sometimes how many of them are like me -- there because one feels the need to worship, while not really believing what is being preached.

    I've been to many different churches from different faiths over the years. I think they're all valid belief systems; I just wish they wouldn't take themselves so seriously.

    Two gaping holes in my explorations are never having attended a Hindu ceremony (unless you count lighting candles at a Diwalhi supper), and never having attended a traditional First Nation's celebration. Every First Nations celebration I've had the opportunity to attend was really a variant on Christianity, not their traditional beliefs, so I've only attended a couple of those and found them as wanting as any other Christian sect.

    I want to hear the *traditional* stories of creation, life, death, rebirth, nature, etc., not a regurgitation of the "white man's" beliefs.
    Growing up in a Christian family of the evangelistic type which was very popular in the 80's I have watched a myriad of events unfold.
    These people all grasp a small piece of something. The hypocrisy used to bother me alot, and the contradictions that are infested into the whole belief system.
    As a child a pastor would regularly cast "demons" out of people. He cast two out of me when I was six years old with my parents standing behind me. Christians are maniacs at best, apathetic at worst. Judgement is rife in the Churches. They would have a meeting talking about God, goodness, why the world is evil and all the bad things that should be avoided. Not once do I recall any charity events. Tithings were said to be 10% proper of a family income, this was preached and encouraged. The pastor drove a BMW. All the people spoke about after Church in coffee time were gossip/judgements on other people, sometimes even talking ill about other member of the congregation.
    I have concluded that their are only ever a few "true" Christians on the Earth at any given time, people with the qualities of Jesus or Buddha, Krishna, or the true Allah. I do not know what to believe.
    I left my family home at age 14 due to the fact that this disease caused by the dis-ease that this religion causes. All of us kids have had "demons" to fight as of these beliefs.
    I find all of the word play in these religons very interesting, they are quite revealing about the nature of these religions. The word Religion is formed of the two base wods re-legion, very Roman if you ask me!
    Christianity must be always viewed in the light that it was a tool of control. Every country that was conquered was incepted with this religion until it was the means of control for the entire world.
    Another interesting study is that of the degradation of the Egyptian tombs. I have always agreed with some of the schools of thought that scribe that all of the ancient mysteries have been metamorphisised into modern religion, or to re-legion the religion.
    I think that we need to go with our guts on these things, most of the time a gut feeling is right. I have noticed that every time I know something and feel it in my gut, ignoring it, this is at my peril. I have learned that we know way more then we think.
    When we see a broken person I believe they have been put in our path and we are supposed to help. I don't believe in hand-outs but a hand up is always helpful.
    We are all sisters and brothers in a human way, no matter what our beliefs. Christianity secludes the majority by their belief that they are going to hell producing apathy, allowing for the worst abuse that this world has ever seen.
    We live in the second Dark Ages, I really believe this. People will look back on this moment in time and wonder how humanity becames so dumb yet so intelligent in the same movement.

  20. #20
    Seedling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokin Moose View Post
    Over the years, and while here at TY, I had experiences that led me to that state of acceptance. One event and the circumstances in particular I would like to share with you.
    You will recall Tank. He was the first insight into something wonderful and special.

    I just sent this message to Tank's daughter, Dot. I did not post this before as it was too personal to share at the time.

    Please play this song while you read this post. John Williamson True Blue

    Dot, thanks so much for getting in touch. The events after your dad passed
    are still crystal clear in my mind and I am still left awe struck and
    wondering.

    Here are my recollections of that day...


    The morning I woke up to find the email from Sandy was an incredible shock,
    even though I knew the time was close. I had so hoped that Dave would make
    it to Christmas, but it was not to be.

    An hour after I heard the news, I went out into my garden and sat thinking
    about Dave. You see Dot, Dave and I had made a pact that he would give me a
    sign that he had passed over to the new life that was waiting for him - a
    life free from pain and suffering. Dave had always told me to look out for a
    black Lab, but I kept my mind open to other possibilities. I just knew he
    would give me a sign!

    Just before I sat down in my garden, I put the sprinkler on as I usually do,
    in the regular position. Then something very strange happened...

    As I sat looking at the sky talking to your Dad, a twinkling in the corner
    of my eye caught my attention - I turned my head and saw the most incredible mini Rainbow, right in front of my face! It was so unusual that I thought I was imagining it at first, then I started to wonder and looked more closely.

    I have NEVER had this effect occur ever in 17 years of placing the sprinkler where it was.
    This rainbow was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my garden! I raced inside and grabbed my camera and took some pics of it, in case I was actually imagining it - I wanted proof lol.

    I have attached the images I took.

    THEN....the most incredible thing happened!!!!!!!!!

    It was later that night about 11pm, and I was sitting on the same step out
    back with all the lights off. It was a clear night and very still. Now Dot, I am a hermit and spend ALL my time in my back yard and I know every critter that comes in my yard, be it insect, bird, or other. I notice everything!

    I saw a white flash again out the corner of my eye, turned my head and saw this huge white moth - it would have had a wing span of 6 inches. Never seen it before. I looked more closely, when all of a sudden it flew off towards
    my face and did a loop-dee-loop right in front of me, then flew back on to
    the bush where it first landed, not 2 feet away from me. I looked again and
    thought "this is very odd!"...then I looked again, when all of a sudden it
    took flight again and flew in front of my face doing a DOUBLE loop-de-loop -
    that was when I realised something spiritual was going on, so I said "Is
    that you Tank"...then the moth hovered a minute and then flew off into the
    dark of the night, and has not returned.

    Dot, I knew it was Dave telling me he had crossed over. I am not mad and I
    am not prone to seeing things, nor am I a Godly man...but this was the most
    extraordinary thing I have ever seen in my life. I was so moved by this I
    felt tears running down my face. I then went and woke my partner up and told her what had happened.

    Dot, that Rainbow has not been seen again, NOR has that stunning white moth.

    While this is not the moth I saw, I have since tracked down what it was, and it is not one to be seen in this area. I have attached a pic of that moth.

    I hope you find some solace in my sharing this with you. I loved your dad
    and he was my mate. In Australia we would call him "True Blue". Listen to
    the song while you look at the pics of the rainbows.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceWKrsJX9N4

    Dot, I will NEVER forget your Dad.

    Love and sincere regards
    Mark
    Thanks for sharing that mate. Very uplifting.
    When my grandmother was ready to pass, my Oma (I am Dutch/German) planned her funeral one week before she died. She planned it to be a celebration of her life.
    After many months of suffering she had a lucid day and planned this. Everbody freaked, the family was so distraught. I rang her up to see what I thought and it was the most normal conversation that I had with her throughout her suffering.
    She died one week after planning her funeral.
    The most wonderful thing on looking back is that if she had not done that the funeral would have been miserable but instead it was uplifting, for me anyway.
    It was still very sad but the peace that came with knowing that she was comfortable and ready was incredible.
    Death, in the spirit world is seen as a birth and being born as death, someone told me one time and that struck me as a truth of sorts.
    We will all be reunited with our loved ones so treasure every moment. Count every blessing.
    There are alot of beautiful moments that can pass us by if we are not aware.
    Man, I loved the way you describe yourself, Moose. I, too, am that Hermit that knows every creature in my backyard!
    Peace all.

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    Shadinated groo's Avatar

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    Default Thoughts on the Bodhisatva

    My understanding is that "Bodhisatva" means "The Budda Mind". It means, simply, that one thinks of and perceives reality as an incarnation of THE Budda.

    But what does that really mean? Does it mean "enlightenment" is some mystical state of existence caused by the perception that one is among many facets experiencing a common reality? Does it mean one can literally change the nature of reality by one's own thinking?

    Or does it mean one has *accepted* reality whole heartedly as a state of being to be molded and cajoled into a better and more comfortable state for not only oneself, but for others?

    I find the whole concept of the Bodhisatva fascinating. It opens up so many questions about the nature of reality, self, and the interactions between the two. Unlike other religions, reaching the mystical state of enlightenment does not mean one goes "poof" and ascends into heaven. Rather, it means that one lives and teaches in the mundane world of reality.

    But is not the very idea that one should remain on this earth to *teach* an arrogance of presuming that one's own experience of reality is somehow better than the experiences and ideas of others?

    It seems to me that the true Bodhisatva would simply *accept* reality as something to be experienced as it unfolds, with each encounter of another human being an opportunity to share in the wonder of simply *existing* together for a moment in time.

    I've read very little of Buddhist texts, because everything I read of them seemed so *obvious* to me. Most of the ideas seemed to be *natural*, if one would only give the questions being asked their due consideration. Most of Buddhist teaching seems to be based on asking questions that force you to consider the *nature* of being and reality, rather than a set of guidelines and guideposts with *answers* to those questions.

    So the "teaching" of Buddhism seems to be the lecture of how and what to think about, rather than any specific answers to the questions suggested.

    I've therefore concluded that anyone who gives the nature of existence and one's place in it serious thought is automatically a Boddhisatva, and that they are far more common amongst the billions of people than most would ever realize.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by groo View Post
    My understanding is that "Bodhisatva" means "The Budda Mind". It means, simply, that one thinks of and perceives reality as an incarnation of THE Budda.

    But what does that really mean? Does it mean "enlightenment" is some mystical state of existence caused by the perception that one is among many facets experiencing a common reality? Does it mean one can literally change the nature of reality by one's own thinking?

    Or does it mean one has *accepted* reality whole heartedly as a state of being to be molded and cajoled into a better and more comfortable state for not only oneself, but for others?

    I find the whole concept of the Bodhisatva fascinating. It opens up so many questions about the nature of reality, self, and the interactions between the two. Unlike other religions, reaching the mystical state of enlightenment does not mean one goes "poof" and ascends into heaven. Rather, it means that one lives and teaches in the mundane world of reality.

    But is not the very idea that one should remain on this earth to *teach* an arrogance of presuming that one's own experience of reality is somehow better than the experiences and ideas of others?

    It seems to me that the true Bodhisatva would simply *accept* reality as something to be experienced as it unfolds, with each encounter of another human being an opportunity to share in the wonder of simply *existing* together for a moment in time.

    I've read very little of Buddhist texts, because everything I read of them seemed so *obvious* to me. Most of the ideas seemed to be *natural*, if one would only give the questions being asked their due consideration. Most of Buddhist teaching seems to be based on asking questions that force you to consider the *nature* of being and reality, rather than a set of guidelines and guideposts with *answers* to those questions.

    So the "teaching" of Buddhism seems to be the lecture of how and what to think about, rather than any specific answers to the questions suggested.

    I've therefore concluded that anyone who gives the nature of existence and one's place in it serious thought is automatically a Boddhisatva, and that they are far more common amongst the billions of people than most would ever realize.
    I believe that the whole idea of the Buddha mind is supposed to teach us, as Humans, how to act correctly.
    I believe that changing our minds and becoming enlightened should have a direct bearing on our actions.
    I absolutely love and embrace the ideas from Buddhism. I have a book called the I-Ching of the Tao. This system is truly universal and can be applied to practical situations existing on every plane. Physical, mental, emotional, spiritually universal.
    The fact that the principals of Buddhism are so interchangeable (they are good or bad depending on one's use of them. Art of War or the Art of Healing and Changing the World)
    Any true system will be like this, in my beliefs. Good and evil are how the knowledge is used. There is no denial of self or isolation of any of our worldly parts.
    The metaphors in the I-Ching are very practical and teach our minds how to think correctly.
    I love the I -Ching trigram using the water flowing around the mountain as a symbolic representation of one way of addressing conflict and various obstables as well as being a physical phenomenon, there seems to be a natural remedy to every ailment.
    Last edited by TradingBeanz; 11-11-2013 at 12:42 AM. Reason: Double posted

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    Quote Originally Posted by groo View Post
    Infinity is one of those interesting concepts that transcends mathematics and gets into the philosophical, the concept of labelling the unknowable and unmeasurable.

    Yet there are many who think we've measured the boundaries of the universe based on our limited understanding, claiming that it grows and continues to grow and that eventually it will reach some magic limit and collapse in upon itself. Yet I see nothing in this day to day reality to believe that is any more than a theory amongst many theories. It fits what we know, but we know so little it's laughable.
    That made me laugh, hey! I have thought the same thing every time I hear scientist speaking of infinity!

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    I've been up for a little while, and searching for examples of the triple-faced Hindu statues that are so common. I wanted to share an image of one as an example of what I was about to discuss, but got distracted along the way reading Wikipedia articles about the *meanings* of those statues.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...met_1197_1.jpg (Unfortunately there seems to be a bug with image URL loading right now, so you'll have to click the link.)

    The video recently posted about Myths discussed these statues in terms of mankind's preference to think in terms of duality about things which are neutral. To classify things as good or evil when they are neither, or to otherwise think in extremes about something which is both at the same time.

    Statues of Brahma from Hindu thinking exemplify this, as the two side faces represent creation and destruction, while the central face represents maintenance. There are also similar triple-faced statues of other Hindu gods that I saw during my image search, so it's a common theme to their thinking, not an attribute of any one particular god.

    Where it came home for me was thinking about how it applies to our favourite plant. Medical patients consider the plant to be a God-sent miracle of goodness, while the prohibitionists think of it as the pinnacle of evil drug addiction. Yet the plant itself is neither -- it is simply a plant, hell bent on growing and spreading it's seed for the next generation, and not concerned one whit about what mankind thinks of it.

    It is this importance of duality vs. unity thinking that piques my interest about Hinduism. All of our perception of reality in Hindu and Buddhist thinking stems from our own preconceived notions and preferences, not the actual truth of the thing itself.

    Most things and events just are by nature. They don't have good or evil intent, they simply exist. All the good and evil comes from our own minds and our own thinking, so while one person sees a man like Harper as a great evil upon the earth, others see him as a saviour, while in reality he is just a man prone to do what he believes is the right thing regardless of what others think.

    If one could truly accept the neutral nature of life's issues and events instead of categorizing them as good or evil, one could achieve a greater measure of calm peace. Better yet, if one could warp one's own thinking to see the good in all things, one's life could actually become an example of blissful contentment in a world that most see as being full of strife.

    Truly the evil in the world is mostly in our own minds. We tend to see calamities and disasters everywhere we turn. We enjoy living a central theme of ourselves as hero, fighting valiantly against the evils of a cruel, cruel world. Some feel powerful in their defiance of reality, while others feel helpless, but central to our being is a philosophy of "me vs. the world."

    What is it about us that always seems to want to choose the most stressful way of viewing events? Why can't we accept them as neutral or even good instead of perpetually living in a world of evils?

    Don't get me wrong. There are events that *are* inherently good or bad, but the vast majority are neither. Even events like the Holocaust were seen as "good" by some people, however misguided most of us think those people are nowadays. The same is true of slavery; some people even justified it as providing employment and shelter to their slaves, and thought of themselves as being "good" people for doing so.

    No, I'm not suggesting that we find good in all things. Some things are just wrong, and all the self-justification in the world can't excuse them. But it's interesting to me how many people *can* self-justify those evils, and think of themselves as being righteous while they perform the most abhorrent acts.

    Yet the vast majority of us seem to picture ourselves as the victims of a world of cruelty, when in reality the world just flat out doesn't care one way or the other about us.

    Perhaps it's just our own need to feel important. If the world is "against" us, then the world must give enough of a damn to want to *torture* us, so we *matter* in the world. If we were to instead accept the neutral nature of most events, we'd have to accept the fact that we are, as individuals, too insignificant to matter to the world.

    Of course that all presumes that reality is guided by some thinking deity or deities. If, on the other hand, the atheists are right, then everything is just purely random and all our thinking in terms of the good and evil of events is fallacy, because without an intent behind the events of the world, they truly become neutral.

    Perhaps that is the central theme of Buddhism. To set one's self up as one's own godhead. To accept the importance of one's own thinking as the prime determinator of one's satisfaction with life. To truly focus on the here and now of existence and the events of the moment instead of trying to "plan" life around future events which may or may not happen despite our wishes or fears for such events to transpire.

    P.S. As you can no doubt tell, I really, really enjoyed my philosophy classes in university. Nothing gets me going quite like spinning the wheels of my own reality as I explore facts of perception.
    Last edited by groo; 11-11-2013 at 05:09 AM.
    I do not fail -- I succeed at finding out what does not work.

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    Default I agree!

    "Perhaps that is the central theme of Buddhism. To set one's self up as one's own godhead. To accept the importance of one's own thinking as the prime determinator of one's satisfaction with life. To truly focus on the here and now of existence and the events of the moment instead of trying to "plan" life around future events which may or may not happen despite our wishes or fears for such events to transpire."
    I believe that this is the truest way to view Buddhism.
    Last edited by TradingBeanz; 11-11-2013 at 07:14 AM. Reason: Posted it wrong, don't understand the QUOTE function yet!

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