IMG_0569
Blog powered by Typepad

« Linx | Main | Running in circles »

Comments

"it's supposed to be nasty, brutish, and short … or at least rough sledding for most of us. I don't understand why . . . "

My guess is that it's for the same reason authors of fiction, such as yourself, insert negative aspects into your plots--how else can an interesting story line be generated? I think stories are the raison d'etre of this physical universe, and that they're more fundamental than atoms.

And most fundamental of all, as I see it, is the one being that dreams the stories into existence.

Well Michael you seem to be getting very philosophical in your views and if I may say it, much in sync with Patience Worth in her novel The Sorry Tale. Please allow me to quote from Chapter XVI, page 579 where Jesus is responding to his followers:

"Master, what is the Father's labor that He set such as yon multitude upon earth, for there be not one man within ten that the earth hath need of."

"And He [Jesus] answered the one, saying: "Behold, the Father manifesteth Himself in them all, and within their atoms is builded up great things. From out their blood cometh new men of office. Out of their bone is the bone of earth renewed. Yea, and their love is a mighty thing that may build from out itself a mightier work. For all of these hold them lowly, thereby, e'en though they know not their God, they deny Him not. Even so He dwelleth within them and they welcome Him. ....Behold yon multitude!...[t]here be men among them whose hands up and down in labor for the Father, their eyes blinded and their ears not oped, yet He is with them, and thou mayest see Him within their eyes."

LOL! When I was a kid my mom used to sometimes say to me, "life ain't a bowl of cherries you know kiddo!" At the time I didn't know or understand what she was talking about.... but now that I'm a whole lot older I sure do and I think I've figured out it's not supposed to be a bowl of cherries. It is in the suffering that evokes the emotion that is needed for us to remember the lessons we need to learn. I remember reading a NDE one time where the woman said that we here in the physical universe can't begin to comprehend the feelings of oneness and connectedness in Heaven. So much so that I don't think it's possible to "become" a separate unique individual in heaven. The reason we don't "remember" when we existed as part of the One in heaven is the same reason we don't remember when we an egg and sperm cell in our parents before conception. We existed but not as separate individuals. We were part of the larger consciousness. If you want to be an individual you have to come here and experience enough separation, in every way, shape, and form possible so that it will be thoroughly imprinted on the soul what it means to be separate so that after we die the soul doesn't just merge back into the oneness of the other side.

And as far as physical pain goes? It imprints on the soul bits of information about being inside of a body. Like a sculptor that takes a hammer and chisel and cuts a body out of solid marble. Each hit imprints on that block of marble a shape of that body. It's all information. Our soul craves it and if it isn't getting enough information it will force the body to do things to experience it. Self flagellation, cutting, body piercings, sticking hands down into bags of bullet ants, tattoos, hanging by thongs, anything to feel something. And if you live a more natural existence mosquitoes, biting flies, poison ivy, thorns, fleas, lice, will be enough to imprint on the soul the shape and parameter of the body it inhabits. And the more pixels of information the more clear the picture becomes.

I reiterate, life ain't supposed to be a bowl of cherries.


We tend to look at ourselves as independent individuals with consciousness and free-will and, as such, completely responsible for our behavior and eventually our violence. But if you try to look at life on Earth with the eyes of an alien, a biologist and philosopher alien, then some new features can maybe emerge.
He (or should it be a she?!) would probably discover life on Earth from James Lovelock's perspective who defined the "Gaïa hypothesis". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis)
To make it short: this view tends to see individuals as parts, cells…, in the only real living entity on this planet which is… the Biosphere taken as a whole!
Only the Biosphere is independent (it needs only energy from the sun); only the Biosphere has a long history (nearly 4 billions years now) and evolves to become more and more information-rich and resilient… not the species that form it. Actually it's the turn-over of individuals and species that constitutes the engine of its evolution, somehow as the turn-over of our molecules and our old cells make us adapt and grow. Only the Biosphere then has the attributes we tend to give to an individual!
When a biologist tries to define what is life on an individual's basis only, he gets in trouble! Life is an ecological property that materializes in individuals for a fleeting moment: its real nature is far more large than what is restricted to individuals. Apart from his personal history, what makes the uniqueness of a person is his specific mix of genes… but not any of his genes is exceptional: they are all found in hundreds of millions of other persons, only not in the exact mix that can be seen in other ones.
There are many other reasons that make a biologist see life as an ecological property and not made from individuals…
The alien visitor could also understand our odd and often inappropriate behavior as the sign of a very rapid evolution that is far from harmony yet. There are many examples of this: we don't have yet an harmonious way to reach equilibrium with our environment, neither with our demography, nor with our technology (the individual's footprint (http://www.myfootprint.org/) is so high today that if everybody should live with the same requests from the environment than an average american, we would need… more than 5 planets to fulfill these needs!). (http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/gfn/page/world_footprint/)
And if the alien is a biologist, he would find it normal that all the species (except ours), has automatic and often very smart ways to control their demography. Birds for example don't reproduce if they can't find and defend a territory… thus restricting its population to what the environment can afford… Even little brained fish have controlled demography when they are raised in aquariums… But all these species had millions of years to find then select these behaviors through the laws of evolution… Our species is much too young for that, and therefore struggles with much more violence to find (unfortunately without much success) ways to reach a happy life in a restricted world without doing harm to others individuals. Even if one sees oneself as kind, supportive, compassionate… one should question oneself on one's behavior in a population with its politics, its economy that fights for its needs against other populations to keep itself the most comfortable in a happy environment!
Our happiness in our rich countries unfortunately is often linked to the exploitation of other economies and ecologies! Each of us certainly looks at him/herself as kind, compassionate… But we're obliged to live in a population, a culture, an economy that aren't as kind and compassionate as we'd like! Our population's unconscious behavior could be seen as a predator's (or the one of a a parasite sometimes!). And this comes from the laws of evolution; we couldn't help it… until now maybe. The Wall-Street economy isn't friendly and compassionate… is it?! But it's part of our behavior as a member of this culture!
From the time we created a cultural species - somewhere since two hundred thousands years or so - culture spread so fast that nature hadn't enough time to select the behaviors that would have favored an harmonious equilibrium with the environment because each time the environment was beginning to put some restrictions on us, our culture was able to find a new way out of it as in Alice in Wonderland with the Red Queen. )http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen_%28Through_the_Looking-Glass%29). If we didn't benefit from a culture, we couldn't have found new ways to grow more and more food, to invent more and more drugs against diseases…
Now we are confronted to an important question. How could we work to make our civilization more friendly with other cultures and with our environment?! How could we work to become proud of our civilization's behavior?!

Wasn't George Anderson's brain waves studied by 48 hours or something like that? and he really freaked the host out and angered him because he thought that he must have pried into his life somehow, and they tested him and found some unusual pattern of brain waves while he "drew" his information. Anyone recall?

I have to agree with this. In fact this very topic has been on my mind a great deal lately.

Just looking at the evidence, what do we see?

A) An honest observation of the evidence around us indicates that there is an enormous amount of physical and emotional suffering in this universe. Some of this is due to the free will of sentient beings, but much of it is simply there, particularly the suffering of innocent children, adults, and animals that have consciousness.

B) An honest observation of the evidence including NDEs and various psychic phenomenon make it obvious, to me anyway, that consciousness continues in some form beyond the death of the physical body, and what lies beyond is likely to be more pleasant than what we experience here. Something we call God, the Force, or whathaveyou.

C) So, if B is true, then why do we have to go through A?

D) Atheists tend to stop with Observation A: the universe is simply too painful for there to be a loving God. They ignore B.

E) New Agers tend to ignore or underplay Observation A.

F) I am still uncertain how to reconcile A and B, but they both seem to be true to me. I still find the problem of evil and suffering to be vexing. But I can't deny my own spiritual experiences and various other evidences of Something Good beyond the suckage of what we go through here.

"... maybe the earth is a dumping ground for immature and destructive spirits..." It's probably this! But I think a few good spirits are thrown in every now and then or else the entire human race would probably wind up just killing each other off.

While some of the destructiveness can be attributed to bad childhoods and trauma, some can't. It makes me wonder if certain people are even human at all.

Hi Michael, the following is meant as feedback, not criticism, and there is no need to post it for public view, unless you want to.

Although I enjoy following your blog, and I am sure that I will continue to do so, I must take exception to the “drawn” part of the basic premise in your example of “people who might be viewed negatively in "spiritual" terms – people who are drawn to lives of violence, such as professional soldiers.”

As a retired career military person (Navy) I can assure you that the professionals are not drawn to lives of violence. Rather they view their mission as one that is necessary in order to prevent violence from being inflicted upon their homes, their families, and their country. Violence inflicted upon an enemy is just one of a number of means that are used to “protect and defend”, but it is used because it is necessary, not personally desirable, and I have never met a career military person who was “drawn” to the use of violence (although our gallows style sense of humor, a psychological self-protection mechanism, could give an outsider that impression I suppose).

As a student and teacher of Metaphysics for nearly 40 years following my active service, 18 years of which my wife and I owned and operated a Metaphysical Book Store and Center, I was frequently confronted by some of those who, as you so well put it, “regard themselves as spiritually enlightened”, who demanded to know just how could I, of all people, come to think that I had the right to be involved in any spiritual related activity. My answer always was a question: can you think of anyone besides the military and first responders like police, fireman and medics who would have more of a reason to be interested in what occurs in the afterlife, and how that interconnects with the material life?

Although most military personnel rely upon the conventional religion of their family, either openly or in their private thoughts, many of those I served with were studying everything from Eastern Religions to Parapsychology in their spare moments, and quite likely, as I did, continued their study after leaving active service.

With respect to your pondering of the issue: “If we believe that earthly life has a larger purpose, then that larger purpose must encompass the negative things as well as the positive.”. I try to provide an answer for my students on this subject by comparing life, a cycle of periods of being incarnate alternating with periods of being discarnate, to being enrolled in college. Our discarnate periods are “Lecture”, where we review our past homework assignments and are exposed to new areas of knowledge. Our incarnate periods are “Lab” where we are supposed to apply what we learned in Lecture. Unfortunately, we seem to not remember much of what we were exposed to in Lecture and so not every Lab works out so well. :)

John DeLorez

Accepting the concept of a holographic Universe is easy. Finding overall purpose embedded in a beautiful world defiled by human evil and indifferent acts of destruction on the part of Nature is the hard part. It's enough to make you want to sit down and have a little chat with the Programmer - "What were You thinking?"

Free will and evolution can explain things intellectually, but at the gut level, they aren't satisfying enough.
Offering solace and answers to the dissonant bugaboo's of life is the role of philosophy and religion, so I guess we're all on our own when it comes to seeking out our own personal path of resolution. That, or we can give up and join a crowd that provides ready-made answers for us.

Finding that path (using or not using free will) almost looks like part of the 'program'.

"I wouldn't be too quick to judge people who might be viewed negatively in "spiritual" terms – people who are drawn to lives of violence, such as professional soldiers. It's commonplace for those who regard themselves as spiritually enlightened to look down on the warrior class and to mouth platitudes like "war is bad for children and other living things."

Excellent point. Geronimo was a fierce warrior and he was capable of, and did commit, acts of gruesome violence on his enemies. Yet, he was also seen by many as a man of great spiritual power. Many witnessed paranormal events in his presence - including whites who really didn't believe in such things.

So often in the west we have an unexamined idea, probably based in part of the cultural archetype of Christ, that a spiritual person is a passive, non-violent, happy type.

"Spiritual" is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

Some of the most "spiritual" people in the Old Testament were killers of men; often at God's command. In the Mahabharata Krishna enlightens Arjuna as to the true meaning of existence and the immortality of the soul and,having enlightened him, then encourages him to do his dharma and slay his rivals for the throne in battle (something Arjuna did not want to do before Krishna's pep talk). It seems throughout history, being in touch with gods and spirits often leads to waging war.

I think that being "spiritual" is not so much what you do, but why and how you do it. It's the spirit of the thing that counts.

Concerning the holographic universe and cosmic simulation universe concepts: these appear to fundamentally conflict with the currently popular multiverse theories. The multiverse theories seem to assume that spacetime, matter, fields and energy are real and objective, though with properties local to us in our own particular "pocket universe". "Fine tuning" is explained as just the luck of the draw of this particular universe's physical laws and fundamental constants. An infinite eternal multiverse then explains fine tuning and avoids postulating an intelligent creator or creators of some sort.

Whereas cosmic simulation concepts look at reality as a vast array of pure information in some vague way analogous to computer code and data, originated and manipulated by some higher transcendent intelligent source. In this sort of concept "fine tuning" and the physical principles and phenomena and structure of our universe are an intelligent choice made from another level of reality. An infinite eternal multiverse is not required. And human inquiry would have an inherent limit, in that it would be impossible for simulated beings consisting of pure information to ever break out into the higher reality to understand its nature.

Of course this also leads to a possible infinite regress, where the simulators' higher reality could be just another hyper-simulation originated from a yet higher level and so on ad infinitum.

A little black humor. Whatever is doing the simulating presumably knows everything about us, and therefore knows we are on to them. This might lead to a loss in interest in the game (the purpose of the whole thing being obviated). So the next step might be to hit the delete button. So maybe it would be better not to believe this hypothesis, and stick with the multiverse hypothesis.

j9, in Diane Arcangel's "Afterlife Encounters," she observed that experiment with George Anderson. His brain waves were unusual when he was in his meditative state. According to her account, he wasn't upset about anything at all though. She also had a very accurate reading from him, even though she expressed quite a bit of skepticism about mediumship beforehand.

I think it is hard to reconcile violence and spirituality. The reason that jumps out at me is that the great spiritual teachers seem to point to love as the greatest thing of all. It's hard to see inflicting violence of any kind as spiritual, unless your definition of spiritual includes demonic activity (they are supposed to be spiritual beings after all). My opinion is that killing the "others" is a tribal activity, so it's only good for the tribe. True spirituality expands the definition of who is in your "tribe" to all living things.

Life has to be the way it is in order to evoke enough emotion in us so that we remember the lessons we came here to learn. There is a strong correlation between emotion and memory. The more emotional the experience the more powerful and long lasting the memory it creates - the more "pixels" it imprints on the soul. The more bits of information the more clear the picture.

Emotions Make the Memory Last - WebMD
Jan 31, 2005 - "Ever wonder why some memories can stay vivid for years while others fade with time? The answer is emotion."
http://www.webmd.com/balance/news/20050131/emotions-make-memory-last‎

The physics of heaven is so different in kind from the physics of this universe that it is very difficult for us to comprehend or understand it. It is the difference between the physics of a piece of holographic film and the physics of a projection from that film. In a piece of holographic film all the information is spread throughout the entire piece of film. Each piece contains the whole and everything interpenetrates everything. Time and space do not exist, and everything, past, present, and future, all exist together.

Because of those feelings of oneness and connectedness and lack of time and space - the soul has to come here to this place to learn about what it means and how it feels to be separate, what time and space look and feel like, what it feels like to be inside a body, and what it felt like to live in a 3 dimensional + 1 time universe. The alternative to that, if one were never born, it would be impossible to be a separate individual, or what time and space looked and felt like, or be inside a body.

It is the difference between being a gas inside a cylinder, filling the entire space, or being something separate and being able to experience being in a body, time and space, etc. Eternity spent as some sort of amorphous consciousness, not independent from the consciousness you broke off of, filling the entire void, floating around in nothingness.

In heaven it is our memories that "make" or create our reality. There is a verse in the new testament that actually explains it well, "whatsoever you bind on Earth will be bound in heaven." It is the things that we have loved here on Earth that will be waiting for us in heaven.

We are creating our own reality. Because heaven is a place where thoughts are things and consciousness creates reality, where matter is an epiphenomena of consciousness, where consciousness is primary and matter is secondary.

Here's a book I just read, by Agatha Christie (her favorite, the blurb says) that is awfully dark, Endless Night

Here's another one I just read, by Elmore Leonard, that presents life with the bark on, Fire in the Hole

Each is only $2 for a Kindle edition, for a short time.

It seems synchronistic that I read them just days before this here thread.

Here's a harshbuzz-type poem I wrote. It's supposed to be centered, but I couldn't get the HTML to work--the guide I consulted said that "center" was no longer supported, and the CSS code I tried didn't work. (Harshes my buzz!):

Splatori

Ye shall know the truth
And the truth* shall
Make you
Free
k
*E.g., God is an atheist

&
Shuck the shell
And free the
Inner
Nut

&
Planter-plant your seed and
Crack the crock
Of Ages

&
Let the heavens fall
Where they
May

Lost & found
Shattered
Sound

"Whatever is doing the simulating presumably knows everything about us, and therefore knows we are on to them. This might lead to a loss in interest in the game ..."

Suppose we are the ones doing the simulating. By "we," I mean our higher selves, which may ultimately all be one big Self, aka God. In that case, the purpose of the game might be to figure out the rules and thereby get in touch with our true self.

"... it would be impossible for simulated beings consisting of pure information to ever break out into the higher reality to understand its nature."

But what if only our physical nature is simulated, while our consciousness is real? Then we could break out into higher reality by extending our consciousness beyond the physical. This seems to be what happens in "cosmic consciousness" episodes, some NDEs and OBEs, etc.

Roger, after Obama got reelected, I scribbled down an angry, pessimistic poem called "Rain Down Fire." I don't remember it now, but it's interesting how poetry springs to mind in moments of deep depression. (Besides the election results, I was also feeling bad because I'd been without power for 9 days after Hurricane Sandy, my home town was badly damaged, and I had the flu. Blecch.)

Michael wrote:

"I don't understand why, but the challenges and difficulties of life seem to be a feature, not a bug."

FWIW, Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi and other works) wrote that this planet (Earth) is one of the worst places to be reincarnated.

********************

Michael wrote:

"For that reason, I wouldn't be too quick to judge people who might be viewed negatively in "spiritual" terms – people who are drawn to lives of violence, such as professional soldiers."

I agree. I like to point out to pacifists who have their noses up in the air that their very bodies are brutal killing machines, annihilating incoming pathogens 24/7/365 -- and they NEVER LOSE -- or they'd be dead. Gandhi, Mother Theresa, you name it -- relentlessly slaughter microscopic creatures. So, get off your high horse.

Michael,

Great post!

FDRLincoln,


||F) I am still uncertain how to reconcile A and B, but they both seem to be true to me. I still find the problem of evil and suffering to be vexing. But I can't deny my own spiritual experiences and various other evidences of Something Good beyond the suckage of what we go through here.||

I think the problem of reconciliation comes from the Western Myth (as I call it), in which everything comes from "God," and thus everything, ultimately, is supposed to work properly.

I think linuspauli's comment is very valuable here. The reason why there is trouble in this Universe is that the Universe uses evolution as its way of becoming what it wishes to become (at least in this vast physical realm we experience).

Planet Earth (and presumably many other planets) are the Universe's way of creating consciousnesses of this type.

Re the points raised about simulation, I think it's helpful to think of "simulation" as a metaphor. Reality is *like* a simulation in that it consists of medium-free rules and entities. There is not actually a machine or other "thing" on which the simulation is "running."

Sorry, that should have been "paulijung's comment," lol.

“True spirituality expands the definition of who is in your "tribe" to all living things.”
-Steven Smith

But this is surely a rosy hypothesis, since very few actually do this (Jains perhaps do), as A Comma in Infinity so graphically points out.

If you think a mass awakening to your idea of spiritual love is in progress, I would respectfully ask you for evidence that this is happening. New Age revolution? As I see it, as few now, or fewer than the flower children of the seventies. Of course, there are new age books and new age preachers. That, I suppose, is because there’s a lucrative market for these things, because people like to think rosy thoughts about the future when they intuit that things are really getting pretty dire.

I don't see this physical experience as a simulation at all. Rather, that it *is* reality, just as the NDE places, ADC places and other astral realms are also reality.

They are equally valid realities that are created by the energies, karma, etc. of the MIND and the mind.

This place happens to be, as Michael says, one where rough and tumble base desires are worked out. As long as we have those, we will keep having this world as a part of the set of domains inhabited by our larger selves.

Learning how to figure out the rules. Control, of self and of environment. Learning the drive to change things. At least those seem like things you'd need a brutal environment for. If everything is always nice it is very easy to just sit in place and stagnate. In order to do something most of us need both the carrot and the whip.

I just read a free download book which is one of those 'you create your life, and I will tell you how you can create one where you have money and stuff' ones which throws you some ideas and then tries to sell you the courses where you'd learn the ways to actually do all that. Well, it was nice fluff, but one of the ideas - that getting rich can actually count as 'spiritual', well, maybe not that silly after all. Maybe it can. If the point of this realm is to make us learn things, learning how to control ourselves and the world in ways which allow us to become materially blessed might count too. :D

Other thought I have sometimes pondered upon, especially if go with the idea that reincarnation is a fact: not every one of our lives is necessarily about us, or only about us. Maybe we are the main character only sometimes, and other times come here as a supporting player, or only as a background character, and then what happens is perhaps more predetermined - only the main characters have true, or full free will, the rest of us will then play according to rules we agreed upon before taking the part. Would make sense of some things, wouldn't it? So maybe somebody will be born defective because the test is on his family, or on certain family members. Maybe somebody is born as a psychopath because of the same thing, or because somebody else needs the challenge to deal with a killer. Maybe whole nations can be tested like that - whether the majority will go along when somebody like Hitler starts to woo them, or have the strength to see past the wooing to the reality. So perhaps some of the monsters are just playing a part. Or some of them are actually the one being tested and have failed the test. Maybe one part of the thing is that none of us can know which of us are playing the lead this time, and which are just the support. Being powerless during some lives, and free to choose and mold our lives during some others would also teach us something, wouldn't it?

No one: "I don't see this physical experience as a simulation at all. Rather, that it *is* reality, just as the NDE places, ADC places and other astral realms are also reality."

I would say it is (or may be) a simulation in the Kantian sense of phenomenal vs. noumenal reality. That is, "real reality" is the information that undergirds the whole show, just as the reality of a webpage is ultimately the source code. Our minds render this information into a convincing virtual reality environment that we navigate and explore and interact with. This VR environment is real, in a sense, but not the deepest reality. It is real for us, here and now.

Astral worlds are also (or may be) VR environments rendered by the mind out of noumenal source code. It's a truism of mediumship that the various afterlife realms, at least in the early stages of one's progress, are thoughtform environments that are, in some way, an illusion. The same idea crops up in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, with the bardos.

"Simulation" may not be the best word. I would think of it more as a "projection" or "rendering." It's not as if if there is some "really real" physical world somewhere that our world is simulating. What's really real, in this view, is information and consciousness; all physical things are models akin to the rendered images on a computer screen.

Here's an article attempting to downplay the holographic theory:

http://www.universetoday.com/107172/why-our-universe-is-not-a-hologram/

I found the comments (many of which defend the holographic idea) very interesting.

"If you think a mass awakening to your idea of spiritual love is in progress, I would respectfully ask you for evidence that this is happening."
-Votary

What I wrote was maybe a reaction to the idea that war can somehow be "spiritual". No, I don't think a "New Age revolution" is happening, but I do believe that we as spiritually evolving beings must answer to our violent actions, in some way, and learn to love. Otherwise, this world just belongs to the strongest who can get rid of all that get in their way. This world is both wonderful and cruel at the same time.

Michael, "I would say it is (or may be) a simulation in the Kantian sense of phenomenal vs. noumenal reality."

Ah, gotcha. I agree. The point I was trying to make is that projector and the experiencer are the same being. I do not accept that the experiencer is caught up in some external other's projections.

Mostly not, at least. It seems that when two or more projector/experiencer units meet, they have to come to some kind of agreement or consensus as to which projections will be kept and shared and which will be edited.

||It seems that when two or more projector/experiencer units meet, they have to come to some kind of agreement or consensus as to which projections will be kept and shared and which will be edited.||

Yes! I think this is an updated way of describing the establishment of form out of kaos in the Greek creation myth.

Here's another item on the Darkness theme, from Kindle Location 213 of Craig Weiler's just-out $7 Kindle book, PSI Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet.

"Science is not the issue here. Something else is in play that is causing this controversy to take place. All of western society is having to face its ultimate heart of darkness."

Steven Smith , "What I wrote was maybe a reaction to the idea that war can somehow be "spiritual". No, I don't think a "New Age revolution" is happening, but I do believe that we as spiritually evolving beings must answer to our violent actions......"

At the risk of plagiarizing Col. Jessup (Jack Nicholson) in "A few Good Men", without armed men capable of extreme focused violence standing, ever vigilant, on walls and keeping the barbarians out, there would be little to no philosophizing and spiritual advancement in earth societies.

The Taliban execute people for singing and dancing for Christ's sake. Al Qaeda types will behead a woman for showing a little leg. Then there are monsters like Hitler and Hirohito.

Do think that we could have a blog like this under fundamental Islamic law? The powers that be would literally have all of heads on sticks.

No. Some people need to be killed so that others can advance.

"Some people need to be killed so that others can advance."
-no one
Please explain to me how this is different than the Taliban Jihadist position? Isn't your post a matter of "US vs. Them"? You seem to misunderstand my position as sympathetic to Islamic violence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"Please explain to me how this is different than the Taliban Jihadist position?"

We actually are right and they actually are wrong. Sometimes it is necessary to cut off a finger to save a hand.

My tribe allows ideas to flourish and their tribe stunts thought. My tribe allows for exploration. Their's does not. and so on and so forth.

Once one gets past all that moral equivalency and openness and acceptance for openness and acceptance sake (as if it is a highest value) then one is able to grow up and make distinctions involving right and wrong like men used to do before liberalism turned everything into a lifestyle choice.

"We actually are right and they actually are wrong." - no one

Okay, I'm glad you are being honest. So, in your view, it' just fine to kill people who are less "spiritually advanced" than yourself. Judge, jury and executioner for "God". I guess I needed to be enlightened to the way things really are, and stop being such a liberal.

All I can say is WOW!

Steven, sometimes civilization does come under threat. The Nazis, for instance, posed just such an existential threat. There are always retrograde forces that want to stamp out progress toward greater freedom and tolerance. Would we want to live in a world dominated by the Nazi ideology of genocide and totalitarianism, or a world run by jihadists who would stone homosexuals to death, deprive women of basic rights, and impose the death penalty for blasphemy? Sadly, it is sometimes necessary to fight in order to preserve the way of life we cherish.

There's a quote often attributed to George Orwell, which apparently should be credited to film critic Richard Grenier. Whoever said it, it reflects the reality of life on this planet, at least as it is now:

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/11/07/rough-men/

Maybe someday the rough men will no longer be needed. But for now, I'm afraid they are.

Steven, of course I agree with Michael. Thanks Michael. No one, even rough men, wants to kill anyone, all hoorah bravado aside. I sure don't. However, some people just don't respond to reason and they would kill you. This is a shame, but to lay down and be killed and let bad men triumph would be to shirk one's responsibility to the whole of humanity, IMO.

Steven, just to be extra clear, I in no way advocate killing people who simply have conflicting ideas, even if those conflicting ideas are retrograde. I think too often, though, that is what humans do to each other.

OTOH, in the case of Nazis et al, such as Michael points out, yes, war can be seen as a spiritual necessity of sorts.

Michael, I get it that there are people who should be stopped from imposing horrible things on others.. that's why we have laws and law enforcement. However, the world is not neatly divided between the good guys and the bad guys, or those who have it right and those who don't. We are all learning here… eventually.
Our culture has become more and more militaristic to the point where those who speak of peace are ridiculed and considered somehow unpatriotic. The original plan for america was not to have a standing army in peacetime. That's the real reason for the 2nd amendment, so citizen's could be ready to fight if needed. War is just normal for us now and takes a huge amount our resources. I think we have lost our way.

I agree up to a point, Steven. The Iraq war was unnecessary (although at the time I thought otherwise), and I don't want to see us get involved in Syria. In many of these cases we are siding with one group of thugs against another group of thugs. When in doubt, we should stay out. But sometimes (e.g., WWII) staying on the sidelines is not an option.

Incidentally, right now I happen to be reading a Robert Harris thriller called "Fatherland" (1992) which imagines a parallel history in which Germany won WWII and, in 1964, dominates Europe. It's pretty chilling, and (so far) a good read.

"War is just normal for us now and takes a huge amount our resources. I think we have lost our way."

"The Iraq war was unnecessary..... and I don't want to see us get involved in Syria. In many of these cases we are siding with one group of thugs against another group of thugs. When in doubt, we should stay out."

Agreed and agreed.

Steven, just to be extra clear X2, just b/c I believe in the concept, doesn't mean I necessarily think that the US is doing it judiciously.

The country needs pacifists just as much (maybe more these days) than it needs "rough men". The different perspectives provide a healthy balance.

" However, the world is not neatly divided between the good guys and the bad guys, or those who have it right and those who don't. We are all learning here…"

True, but if we waited until we were 100% perfect to act or 100% bad to abort then nothing would ever happen. I mean nothing.


"Incidentally, right now I happen to be reading a Robert Harris thriller called "Fatherland""

My wife read that when it first came out and really liked it. It's one of those books I've been meaning to read, but then forget about the next time I'm choosing a book to read. Sheesh, I guess I've been doing that for 21 years in this instance. Now that is frightening!

Fatherland is a great book Michael. i read it and thoguht it came across as very plausible. It seems to be a highly likely picture of how things would have panned out had Germany won.

Nevertheless, all through the novel, there is an underlying sense of a regime that is doing what it can to stay in power for as long as possible, and that ultimately, the regime is doomed, once the people eventially have had enough.

America survives in splendid isolation, having never gotten involved in the European war. The Reich is engaged in a neverending struggle with Russian rebels.
Britain is officially neutral, but forced into a trade arrangement, along with other 'neutral' countries, with Germany - a kind of fascist version of the EU.

Winston Churchill and the British royal family are in exile in Canada.

I looked at the questions asked to the mediums in that study (http://c431376.r76.cf2.rackcdn.com/67415/fpsyg-04-00834-HTML/image_m/fpsyg-04-00834-t002.jpg). It kind of bothers me that a lot of questions are either-or questions instead of being open-ended (asking "was the cause of death natural or unnatural" instead of "describe the cause of death"). It would also be nice to see the transcripts, because skeptics will get on that point and say that the researchers have some flaws they would like to hide. I understand that they wouldn't be released in order to protect the sitters' privacy, but they surely could censor some details while keeping it evidential enough.

It's great to see that a mediumship study was published in a mainstream paper!

The comments to this entry are closed.