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The Bible ~ spiritually inspired?

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Postby shadowcass » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:39 pm

Hi gang! Yes, it's me. Just a couple of points.

1. The chair is STILL an illlusion...it ISN'T really THERE. Science has always been about finding the REAL the ACTUAL the UNDERLYING THING.

For a very long time it was thought that the "atom" was that. The word is from the Greek "atomos" meaning "that which cannot be cut" or "divided: or "split".

Then they split it.

And we keep looking into the nature of "reality". DEEPER in...Farther in.

And we begin to find that what everything IS is streams of data.

It's like that movie "The Matrix" really. As we break everything down we come to data streams.
The chair is only a chair from OUR point of view. But when we bring in our scientific instruments we find that it is nothing of the sort---it is whirling energy---just as we are, It isn't a THING at all. It is a "happening". It is what the protons and neutrons are DOING. Because they have been programmed to do a "chairing" in that place at that time to creatures whose perception is as limited as OURS normally is.

Which means that what we call "God" is rather like the character of "Neo" in that film. God is a being that sees EVERYTHING as streams of data and can modify them or arrange them or manipulate them to suit HIs (or Her or Its) purpose.

Humphreys, you say that you don't think I have experienced anything a practicing Buddhist Monk hasn't experienced.

I don't think so, either.

Of course, we give different NAMES to our experience because what we have experienced is then filtered through our cultural and philosophical bias...but, yes, I think the EXPERIENCE is the same. Until we try to put it into words, anyway.

We can only comprehend as much of this "Reality Behind Reality" as we are prepared for...the rest---the dogma, the ritual...ALL OF THAT is what remains OF the experience after it has been filtered through our human experience and limited ability to comprehend what it is REALLY trying to tell us.

And maybe it is speaking to YOU too...for you are right to reject all the "definitions" of God that you have heard. Especially those definitions one gets from any kind of ORGANIZED Religion. But that doesn't mean God isn't "real" only that we have a problem when we try to "grok" the infinite.
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Postby humphreys » Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:03 am

Hi shadowcass, we're getting more into the underlying natue of reality, which as I stated in my previous post, may well be illusory. For all I know we are in a simulation.

However, whatever it is, it is consistent, we experience it as tangible, and the chair matches our best definition of "real" in every way.

I believe our brains are most likely interpreting actual data, even if it is not real in the sense of it being physical chunks of material. I think we are also interpreting a close enough approximation of what is out there that we can survive. As we all know, if the data is interpreted badly, we're going to fall off a cliff, or worse, and our accuracy in this regard has improved through a process of evolution.

In a nutshell, there is something out there, whether it be a real chair, or "chair data" that our brains accurately describe to us as a chair, and actualize into real objects. The point is, the chair is still real going by our definition of real. It exists (the data describing it, if you like) out there seperate from our brains/minds/consciousness.

I don't think it helps or changes the case made to think of the chair as illusory. The same key differences mentioned in my last post between the chair and the God experience are present nonetheless.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby frrostedman » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:38 pm

humphreys wrote:
qmark wrote:I do know, and in the same way that you know. I have "experienced" God as you have "experienced" England.


Well, all I can say is that I don't believe you. I'm not calling you a liar, I just don't accept that the two types of knowledge are on par.

Really?

Ok, prove you've been to England. I don't think you're lying, I just don't believe you.

How do you know your life didn't begin a day ago, an hour ago, a second ago; and all your memories are false? You don't know that and you can't prove your way out of it either.

Now obviously I'm playing "devils advocate" but I'm sure you get the point. It at least seems to satisfy the skeptics even more than they already were, that believers can't prove God's existence through debate. But the fact is, believers can no more easily prove God's existence than you can prove to us you've been to England.
"But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about Jesus being a great teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." C.S. Lewis
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Postby event_horizon » Thu Aug 12, 2010 11:31 pm

I realize this hologram thingamajingy theory has been around since the 70s, however I find it just a bit strange how, after 'The Matrix' movie, so many people are now jumping on the hologram bandwagon.....who woulda thunk it eh.

Let's say for a moment that the universe really is a hologram...then what is the hologram creators' purpose of deep space?

Our local visible deep space bubble consists of 100 billion galaxies (give or take), each consisting of 100 to 400 billion stars. That's 100,000,000,000 galaxies times let's say 200,000,000,000 stars, which equals 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that's 20 sextillion for all you math geeks) stars in our local visible bubble...

So out of all those stars/solar systems in the universe, are there millions or billions of other worlds with holographic inhabitants too? Or is the rest of the universe just one big illusion, and we're the only conscious holograms?

Everything on a macroscopic scale tells us that the universe is indeed physical/real. Galaxies colliding; supernova explosions; black holes forming from collapsed stars; star clusters; nebulae; star nurseries; etc. etc...

And what about quasars? The bright objects that stream out from the centers of distant galaxies? Most of us know the farther we look into the universe, the further back in time we're looking. In the early universe, when galaxies were first forming, many young stars and other matter were getting pulled in towards the centers of galaxies, creating these supermassive black holes, which in turn created these very luminous objects, called quasars. The farthest known quasar is about 13 billion light years away, and the closest known quasar is about 780 million light years away. We don't see any closer than this, because the galaxies that we see in our neighborhood are matured.

What does this information tell us? It tells us that we didn't get placed here 6,000 years ago, or 2 minutes ago, along with the universe. All the information gathered by astrophysicists tells us the universe has been here for almost 14 billion years.

So, if the universe REALLY is a hologram, and we HAVE been placed here 6,000 years ago, or 2 minutes ago, along with the universe, that's not good news. It would mean that the creator(s), by all accounts, is a deceiver.

Why worship a deceiver?
I don't believe what I believe because it's what I desire to believe. I believe what I believe because it's what logic and reason cause me to believe. All I want is to live with the truth -- nothing more, nothing less.
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Postby humphreys » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:01 am

frrostedman wrote:Well, all I can say is that I don't believe you. I'm not calling you a liar, I just don't accept that the two types of knowledge are on par.


Okay, first point is that you do believe me, because there is no reasonable explanation beside me having gone to England. And I say reasonable, because the alternatives like having been born an hour ago, while possible, I would not say are reasonable, in that they should be taken seriously.

Also, I do believe qmark. I believe he had the exact God experience he told me about. He's no liar. I just believe there is a reasonable psychological explanation for his experiences, and that is not the case for me believing I went to England.

It takes a far greater error to believe you went to England when you really didn't, than it does to think you were in communication with God when you really weren't. I know this firsthand from my own experiences, and you do too.

Believers readily admit it is quite possible, if not easy, to think you're in communication with God when you really aren't! It's a constant battle, they say, to seperate the two.

My second point would be that, in this instance, we are not talking about proof, we are talking about knowledge.

Lastly, it does not satisfy me that believers cannot prove God through debate, this is not the reason I am an unbeliever! It, in fact, has nothing to do with it whatsoever ;)
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby humphreys » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:03 am

By the way, I realize my wording was poor when I told qmark I did not believe him, that is not really what I meant. I was trying to get across my point that while he believes he has knowledge, he really does not, as the type of knowledge we might acquire from mystical experiences and such is not real knowledge, it is akin to the type of "knowledge" a man who has an exceedingly strong gut feeling about something, or to make a worse analogy, how a man on drugs feels who "knows" he can fly.

Not that believers should be thought of as like druggies in any other way, of course.

The point is, this is "knowledge" is based on the "feeling" of knowledge, rather than actual knowledge based on solid, reliable, repeated objective evidence.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby shadowcass » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:29 am

Hello event_horizon. This idea of "reality" as a hologram (hello to fans of THE MATRIX) is really just a variant of a MUCH older teaching...that what WE see as "reality" is just illusion. "Maya" to use the sanskrit word and which lies behind Hinduism and Buddhism.
In Hinduism "God" is EVERYTHING. You, me, the sky, the clouds, that rock...ALL of this is God who is THE ONLY thing that exists (shades of Twain!) and God just plays at being all of us and all these other things.

"The Play's the thing." so to speak. So if you have the role of hero be a great hero---if you're a villain be a truly fiendish villain. When the play is over and the lights go up the audience applauds both for how well they played their roles.

Now, the natural objection to THIS idea, of course, it that it sounds like we're saying "It doesn't matter if you're good or bad---Gandhi or Hitler. But it DOES matter for the purpose of the Play one has to take the thing seriously. The backdrop is the world of "opposites" after all and that informs the drama.

In other words---it's an extremely OLD idea.


THEN there's the Gnostic teaching that our Universe was really cobbled together by a "demiurge" (artisan) who is just as much a creation of the REAL God as our True Selves are. Now, by "The True Self" the Gnostic means the you that is currently trapped IN but when free is independent OF your physical (material/artisan crafted) body. When Gnostics refer to "The Living Christ" they mean the POST CRUCUFIXION Jesus.

But for more on that feel free to listen to a couple of lectures by Stephen Hoeller, Bishop of the Gnostic Church at 3363 Glendale Avenue Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA
The first is called The Greatest Treasures of Nag Hammadi
http://bcrecordings.net/freenonmem/100700.mp3
And the second discusses "The Gospel of Judas"

http://bcrecordings.net/freenonmem/906d19.mp3

Clicking the links should open your default media player
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Postby shadowcass » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:07 am

Humphreys..only if one ASSUMES that "God" is just as much a "hallucination" as a man on drugs believing he can fly is suffering under a hallucination.

It might be more accurate to say that this knowledge that God exits (or that SOMEONE exists for whom we cannot find a better definition) is a "different kind of knowing". The way a person who has been blind from birth perceives a "chair" is "a different kind of knowing". He cannot and HAS NEVER seen one but by touch and smell and so on he can certainly know a great deal ABOUT that chair.

And perhaps (just perhaps) there is another sense (or faculty or ability) that enables SOME people to encounter what (for purposes of discussion) we are calling God.

Now, I'm willing to grant you that what most people who claim they "Know God" know is just delusion and self-deception. Their "God" turns out to be very petty and very human and very bigoted---just as THEY are.

They create God in their own image, in other words.
And if that WERE what God actually IS then you'd be right.
There'd be nothing there that is worthy of worship.

But every once in awhile some mystic comes along with a different vision of this being we are calling God.

Voltaire said "God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

David Boem in his theory on the Implicate Order called him "The Player on the Other Side"

"Bohm believes in a special cosmic interiority. It *is* the Implicate Order, and it implies enfoldment into everything. Everything that is and will be in this cosmos is enfolded within the Implicate Order. There is a special cosmic movement that carries forth the process of enfoldment and unfoldment (into the explicate order). This process of cosmic movement, in endless feedback cycles, creates an infinite variety of manifest forms and mentality. Bohm is of the opinion that a fundamental Cosmic Intelligence is the *Player* in this process; it is engaged in endless experimentation and creativity. This Player, the Cosmic Mind, is moving cyclically onward and onward accruing an infinity of experienced being!"

http://www.bizcharts.com/stoa_del_sol/p ... num_3.html

And so on...if you want to suggest that God is not NECESSARILY the old guy with the white beard one reads about in the Bible I'm right there with ya, kid.
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Postby humphreys » Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:35 am

shadowcass wrote:And so on...if you want to suggest that God is not NECESSARILY the old guy with the white beard one reads about in the Bible I'm right there with ya, kid.


Well, that would be an excellent start, yes.

Still, without objective evidence, I just don't see how we differentiate actual knowing, based on a real communication with a supreme entity of some kind, and the feeling of knowing caused by something else.

Subjective feelings are notorious for having no external cause.

At the very best you can say these mystics are tapping into, or realizing the existence of, something, but this something could be void of intelligence, it could be nothing more than a Universal force that has the only function of causing feelings of transcendence in humans.

Is this really worthy of the title God, if so?

What if the Universe itself naturally has this quality? Should we call the Universe God? Maybe, but our position would have become far closer to atheism than true theism.
"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris
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Postby sandra » Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:32 am

shadowcass wrote:Hi gang! Yes, it's me. Just a couple of points.

1. The chair is STILL an illlusion...it ISN'T really THERE. Science has always been about finding the REAL the ACTUAL the UNDERLYING THING.

For a very long time it was thought that the "atom" was that. The word is from the Greek "atomos" meaning "that which cannot be cut" or "divided: or "split".

Then they split it.

And we keep looking into the nature of "reality". DEEPER in...Farther in.

And we begin to find that what everything IS is streams of data.




"Words are determined only by their being reffered to other words, which in turn must be reffered to yet other marks, usages, context, and the like. This process is intrinsically endless, and yet in order for it to function at all we must arrest it. The fact that we do this (most of the time without a second thought) and that our lives are generally organized precisely in order to defend against such arresting second thoughts does not change the basic operation: namely, that even in the most prosaic use of language, we must in a certain sense split our minds in order to think at all, in order to articulate. We must both refer the defining terms to other marks that can never be fully defined for us and at the same time- but this precisely fractures the Sameness of that Time- we must 'forget' this irreducibly undefinable vestige. This set of exclusions that is neither entirely indeterminate nor fully determinable."

It was in a paper I was reading, thought it fit nicely in here.
Streams of data, swim against the current, break new ground, and let
it all flow back. :P
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astonishment. “I never heard of such a thing!”
“—but there’s one great advantage in it, that one’s
memory works both ways.”
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