What do you believe?

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Francis Buck

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« on: October 30, 2013, 06:12:36 am »
Warning: Stupidly long post ahead.

Considering that most, if not all, of us seem to be very like-minded individuals, I'm curious what ya'll think life/humanity/the universe is all about. I consider myself a skeptic above all else, but even so I think even the biggest skeptic has a framework they view reality through, and probably lives by to a certain extent -- even while admitting the "magical belief lottery" as Bakker put it, which is perhaps one of the biggest things that endeared me to Bakker's ideas in general.

I confess to knowing little of BBT, and indeed having difficulty in even understanding a lot of what Bakker is saying in his TPB posts. I'm woefully under-read in philosophy (among many other things); you can quote Sartre and Nietzsche and I probably wouldn't know the difference if it wasn't obvious. Nonetheless I could sit for hours and discuss reality and existence with someone. I've often felt at times that I have some kind of "problem", in that I frequently experience what I can only describe as an existential freak-out. I truly become disturbed by the fact that I exist, and more than that, why anything exists at all. I have this disturbing sensation that non-existence -- literally nothing -- is more logical than what we have. Weird, I know. But it probably strikes me several times a week, and the sensation is disarming, to say the least.

But, to get to to the point, I will elaborate on "what I think reality is". I'm not going to get into a bunch of science to back my beliefs up, if only because it would take forever, and anyway that's not so much the point. I more want to investigate the simple idea that many like-minded people (as I assume most of are, to some extent) can have such radically different views of reality. Thus I'm going to basically lay out my thoughts in a simple bullet-point form, and am interested in seeing others do so -- though I don't want to discourage scientific or philosophical rationale by any means. To get on with it:

I believe in an omniverse; that is, infinite universes, with infinite permutations.

Time, as we (conscious animals) know it is essentially an illusion.

The Omniverse has always existed, will always exist, and has never not existed.

Free will does not exist -- we are expressions of mathematical permutations (so is everything else).

There was "one" Big Bang, but from that singularity, expanded infinity.

The "one" Big Bang resulted in every possible permutation of every universe, with every set of physical laws.

Life (capital L) as we know it is basically a system that works towards two things: increased complexity (intelligence) and decreased chaos (entropy).

I use the above terminology, and, in our human language, they seem different, but in fact they're two sides of the same coin.

In order to illustrate (yes, I'm already breaking my own rule about the bullet-point thing), I'm now going to copypasta a short series of thoughts I've posted elsewhere, which I think demonstrates my idea on "what life is" fairly clearly (some of my earlier ideas will be repeated here, so I apologize for redundancy):

I believe that our universe is one of an infinite number, each defined by a certain set of parameters dictated by the mathematical attributes of sub-atomic particles and other physical laws (there was "one" big bang, but from that spawned an infinite number of universes with infinitely different attributes -- this is why there happens to be an arbitrarily larger amount of matter than anti-matter in our particular universe). I also believe that every configuration of every possible universe already exists, has always existed, and will always exist. The "entirety" of the universe is basically one enormous "thing"...I.E., Block Universe Theory. We simply view the universe as changing, or time flowing, due to a weird side-effect of being a conscious being.

I also believe that life is, quite literally, the universe processing or "comprehending itself" (perhaps a never-ending loop...though such concepts become strange in a timeless Omniverse), by means of increasing complexity and intelligence through the decrease of entropy. If you could see the earth's history in fast-forward, you would basically see a ball of matter becoming more and more "complex" (this word is difficult in such a context but I'm using it for simplicity's sake) while simultaneously decreasing the entropy of its environment. Life as it evolved altered the atmosphere, for example, to make it more suitable for survival. Jump ahead to humans, and we begin taking matter and creating a greater level of "order" (making shelter is one the simplest examples). Shelter is our way of decreasing the entropy of the environment. A modern suburban home is basically an effort to achieve the greatest level of homeostasis possible. Controlling the temperature, controlling what goes in and and out of the house, are active efforts to remove the element of randomness (harmful bacteria, break-ins, etc.). Compare the level of "order" (or homeostasis) in a modern city to the level of order in a tribal settlement five-thousand years ago. This can further be applied to societal structures, and so on.

I believe in a pseudo-Gaia theory. I don't think the earth is conscious, but I do believe that life on earth (and likely the majority of other life-bearing planets, particularly those with intelligent life) is by its very nature working towards a "goal", and that goal is the organization of matter and energy. The internet, for example, was a huge step forward in this effort, because it connected the global consciousness and the accumulated knowledge of humanity. It's basically another step forward in the organization of matter and energy through ever greater levels of efficiency (dictated by technological advancement -- technology being life's ability to alter the environment to its will). This ties into another idea of mine, which is that humanity's typical distinction between natural and unnatural -- tech vs organic -- is completely arbitrary. Technology is literally a part of evolution. Systems eventually become smart enough to control the systems they themselves arise from. They become smart enough to control their own evolution.

sciborg2

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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 06:47:21 am »
We're on the shore and an ocean of mystery lies before us.

As a species, we can only swim so far, by which I mean the big question won't be answered by our limited cognitive abilities. So if there's nothing beyond the Veil we won't ever have answers about consciousness.

Additionally given the vastness of this mystery we might as well stop worrying too much about physics and space programs - by which I mean cut funding by massive amounts - unless it benefits us in some definitive way.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2013, 06:49:15 am by sciborg2 »
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Royce

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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 09:10:46 am »
I think that mankind is a expression of nature, just like a tree, wind, mountains and so on. Everything is unique in its own way. We are a expression of all the "good" and "bad" that we find in nature, and in that case there is nothing wrong with you no matter how we express ourselves.

I generally agree with both of you by the way :) and I might also add that we should all be grateful that there is something instead of nothing.

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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 03:29:35 pm »
We're on the shore and an ocean of mystery lies before us.

As a species, we can only swim so far, by which I mean the big question won't be answered by our limited cognitive abilities. So if there's nothing beyond the Veil we won't ever have answers about consciousness.

Additionally given the vastness of this mystery we might as well stop worrying too much about physics and space programs - by which I mean cut funding by massive amounts - unless it benefits us in some definitive way.

Didn't read your whole post yet Francis, sorry. Just came here to poke Sci.  ;)

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One of the other conditions of possibility.

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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 05:29:27 pm »
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The broken hubble space telescope lens led to the discovery of the most advanced breast cancer early detection systems to date. Defunding any one sector of research will always have unseen consequences. Serendipitous discoveries lead to massive advances in science and technology that would otherwise take decades or centuries of direct research.

Actually, upon reflection, this is a discussion for another thread I'll make later so as not to derail this one.

To add to my belief system, I have a strong belief in supernatural evil....so long as it is night time and I'm alone. Otherwise I find my rational mind scoffing at such things.
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Madness

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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2013, 05:37:19 pm »
I've often felt at times that I have some kind of "problem", in that I frequently experience what I can only describe as an existential freak-out.

+1. I wouldn't (and haven't, elsewhere on the forum) describe my experience the same, which has morphed from intense, intermittent episodes into an all-the-time backdrop of my waking reality; basically, accounting entirely for my intolerable disposition and motivating my intentful and haphazard engagement with the world.

I regularly experience cognitive dissonance as I don't understand how other people don't have a version of this experience.

But I feel I understand your connotations.

I believe in an omniverse; that is, infinite universes, with infinite permutations.

Time, as we (conscious animals) know it is essentially an illusion.

The Omniverse has always existed, will always exist, and has never not existed.

Free will does not exist -- we are expressions of mathematical permutations (so is everything else).

There was "one" Big Bang, but from that singularity, expanded infinity.

The "one" Big Bang resulted in every possible permutation of every universe, with every set of physical laws.

Life (capital L) as we know it is basically a system that works towards two things: increased complexity (intelligence) and decreased chaos (entropy).

How do these things inform your daily unfolding? Just curious.

The "entirety" of the universe is basically one enormous "thing"...I.E., Block Universe Theory. We simply view the universe as changing, or time flowing, due to a weird side-effect of being a conscious being.

I've encountered this thought numerous times in my life. It often makes a curious type of sense, which obviously makes me question it immediately. Everything is happening now, one moment, always?

I also believe that life is, quite literally, the universe processing or "comprehending itself" (perhaps a never-ending loop...though such concepts become strange in a timeless Omniverse)

The Omega entity gets tired of tea with itself when the tides of ultimate comprehension reach their culmination ;)?

I believe in a pseudo-Gaia theory. I don't think the earth is conscious, but I do believe that life on earth (and likely the majority of other life-bearing planets, particularly those with intelligent life) is by its very nature working towards a "goal", and that goal is the organization of matter and energy.

These thoughts always lead me to liken consciousness to gravity. Probably, we're measuring consciously incorrectly but, perhaps, a pooling of certain levels of conscious awareness amalgamate into a more complex entity.

You ever read any Ken Wilber, FB?

We're on the shore and an ocean of mystery lies before us.

As a species, we can only swim so far, by which I mean the big question won't be answered by our limited cognitive abilities. So if there's nothing beyond the Veil we won't ever have answers about consciousness.

Curiousity is quintessentially human, though, no? For better or worse, our cognitive abilities probably won't be biologically limited much longer.

Additionally given the vastness of this mystery we might as well stop worrying too much about physics and space programs - by which I mean cut funding by massive amounts - unless it benefits us in some definitive way.

Swoops in
The broken hubble space telescope lens led to the discovery of the most advanced breast cancer early detection systems to date. Defunding any one sector of research will always have unseen consequences. Serendipitous discoveries lead to massive advances in science and technology that would otherwise take decades or centuries of direct research.

Actually, upon reflection, this is a discussion for another thread I'll make later so as not to derail this one.

To add to my belief system, I have a strong belief in supernatural evil....so long as it is night time and I'm alone. Otherwise I find my rational mind scoffing at such things.

I hope this thread starts in the near future.

I generally agree with both of you by the way :) and I might also add that we should all be grateful that there is something instead of nothing.

I weep gratitude. Embrace Reality.

As for myself - I generally believe in nothing... or everything.

I'd be described as an agnostic? But the possibilities are too endless to restrict me philosophically. I'd accept the existence of pretty much anything but as this entity I'd probably also find reasons to fight.

I believe it is wrong to end an other's existence on evidence so shallow as belief.
I believe that most of the entities I communicate with grant that this consensual reality exists - yet still are content to tolerate entering, perpetuating, and leaving this world in the toxic state in which it exists.
I believe that we've inadvertently killed some of the most amazing consciousnesses that reality will never know because of the rigidity of our social and culture conceptual structures (how we choose to manifest collectively in our global environment).
I believe that lacking free-will is the poorest excuse for not participating in humanity's active manifestation (what we do and say each and everyday).
I believe that this is but one stage in a multi-entity existence, whereby each time an entity dies they advance to another level of existence (this is mostly borne out of the idea that people articulate an inability to do anything in life because they'll be rewarded indefinitely in the next... No, you will be tested further); Strength on the Journey - Journey Well.

Otherwise, I find it hard to commit to much of anything.

But come at me, bro ;).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 05:39:45 pm by Madness »
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Royce

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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2013, 09:07:19 pm »
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I believe that we've inadvertently killed some of the most amazing consciousnesses that reality will never know because of the rigidity of our social and culture conceptual structures (how we choose to manifest collectively in our global environment).

This is sadly correct. I have asked many people before this question: "Name me anything positive brought forward by collectivism?"
I never seem to get an satisfactory answer to that one. It is always individuals right? Brave people who dares to swim against
the current, and eventually but not always gets killed.

Quote
I believe that lacking free-will is the poorest excuse for not participating in humanity's active manifestation (what we do and say each and everyday).

Agreed. I don`t spend much time thinking about this. Illusion or not, does it matter? Do what you got to do, If you philosophically do
not have free will, it will not stop you.

Quote
I believe that this is but one stage in a multi-entity existence, whereby each time an entity dies they advance to another level of existence

What do you mean by advance? hierarchical process? A type of reincarnation? I know you can`t possibly have answers for me, but
feel free to speculate on this :)




Francis Buck

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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2013, 10:27:27 pm »
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How do these things inform your daily unfolding? Just curious.

Not very heavily. Particularly in regards to free will -- it kinda doesn't matter. Kinda. I say this in the sense that, even if I somehow magically knew for a fact that I didn't possess free will, I'd be like "Yeah, I sorta figured", and then proceed to go on acting more-or-less like I had free will. However, there are things that need to be considered. Punishment for crimes, for example. Should criminals be punished? What does rehabilitation mean in this context? If they have no free will, then it's not really their "fault". At the same time, we need to consider if we can create an environment and society were criminality is less likely to exist or flourish. Which we already do, sort of. But there's still that element of "punishment". It's, "You did this thing", which I don't know is the correct way to go about it. Well, I definitely don't think it's the right way to go about it, but of course this (like most of this thread) could be partitioned off into a thread itself.

Overall though, the things listed above do not especially affect my reality, even if I do try to be aware of them. Perhaps the biggest thing for me in daily life is that I do believe we have one life to live. One chance in the spotlight, so to speak. And that should be considered by everyone, all the time, when making the decisions we make. I very much like Alan Watts' (probably one my bigger role models) idea on how we live our lives, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnFUDVpFwFQ. If you have a dream in life, follow it. The idea of picking a particular career, not because it's what you love, but because it's the thing you can most tolerate, only to make money, which you then use to do...what? By a car. Buy a house. Find a lover. Have kids. Keep working your whole life. Eventually retire and die. The whole time you really wanted to be a musician, or painter, or athlete, or whatever. But you didn't do that because it wasn't realistic. You have to be "a real person".

Unless of course your dream is to get a job you can tolerate just to support a typical lifestyle and have a family, etc. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. The overarching point, here, is that I find it baffling for anyone to not follow their dream, whatever it is.

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I've encountered this thought numerous times in my life. It often makes a curious type of sense, which obviously makes me question it immediately. Everything is happening now, one moment, always?

It's honestly the only form of time, and the universe (well, omniverse), that "makes sense to me", which, as you say, immediately makes think it must be wrong somehow. Which leaves us in a difficult predicament.

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The Omega entity gets tired of tea with itself when the tides of ultimate comprehension reach their culmination ;)?

Heh, that part of what I wrote is actually a bit "outdated", at least the never-ending loop thing (I wrote that lower paragraph maybe two or three years ago). I'm not even entirely sure what I meant by it. I do, however, still believe that life is, on a certain level, the universe processing itself. I don't think it ever ends though, because of infinity. There's always more information.

Quote
These thoughts always lead me to liken consciousness to gravity. Probably, we're measuring consciously incorrectly but, perhaps, a pooling of certain levels of conscious awareness amalgamate into a more complex entity.

You ever read any Ken Wilber, FB?

I haven't read him, but I will be checking him out now. But what you said, "Probably, we're measuring consciously incorrectly but, perhaps, a pooling of certain levels of conscious awareness amalgamate into a more complex entity", I think is true.

On a similar note, I'm going to post part of something I said on Westeros not too long ago:

(it was in response to a thread Sci made about technological optimism, or optimism in the future, but it outlines some of the things I believe about the future of life/tech, particularly an intelligent species near or around our own current level)

Quote
I'd sooner believe that our current point in life is much more insignificant than we realize. Like, way, way, way more insignificant. As in, I think human society (and really, humans themselves) are more likely to be one tiny step in a much larger cosmic evolution. Even if somehow human life goes extinct before then (though I don't think it will), I think the level where we are currently at, when applied to other intelligent civilizations that managed not to wipe themselves out, is just a stepping stone. It's like an australopithecus believing that nothing could possibly exist beyond their current understanding of the world, and thus that means some kind of apocalypse is coming.

I think the idea that technology is somehow inherently destructive to life is kind of silly, if only because I don't think technology itself should really be separated from life. Technology is just what happens when a group of organisms become intelligent enough to control their own evolution. We think of "life" and "technology" as being separate things, because we live within that sphere. We're the "life" part of the system. But if you can imagine the perspective of a remote Observer, watching the history of Earth in fast forward say, you'd see it from the outside point of view -- the non-anthropocentric one. Really, technology isn't even "something that life does". It's just as much a part of the whole life-system as anything else. We're just part of Earth-Life. It is, in a sense, all one greater entity.

ETA: To sum it up, for me it has less to do with technological optimism, and more to do with removing the ever-present anthropocentric inclination that lies within all of us. This is the same reason we thought Mesopotamia was the entire world. Or China. Or the Old World. And then we thought Earth was the center of the universe. And then we thought the Milky-Way was the entire universe. And then we realized that the Milky-Way was just one of billions of galaxies in a universe far larger than we can possibly comprehend. Our scope of self-perception has continually been challenged, and it's always in the same direction.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 05:41:47 am by Francis Buck »

Madness

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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2013, 03:19:30 pm »
Quote
I believe that we've inadvertently killed some of the most amazing consciousnesses that reality will never know because of the rigidity of our social and culture conceptual structures (how we choose to manifest collectively in our global environment).

This is sadly correct. I have asked many people before this question: "Name me anything positive brought forward by collectivism?"
I never seem to get an satisfactory answer to that one. It is always individuals right? Brave people who dares to swim against
the current, and eventually but not always gets killed.

I'm sure this is a simplification. Even the latter position, there is no revolution in thought if there is no current to swim against?

And, unfortunately, in this world, it's going to take a number of wild, restrained, and informed individuals to fight the tide now. I can even imagine some kind of psychohistoric mathematics (Asimov) that would suggest that the curve of human social and cultural evolution might be traced in part by its legislative and economic system (which are inherently self-limiting).

But I think the question is something of a trap, Royce :).

Quote
I believe that lacking free-will is the poorest excuse for not participating in humanity's active manifestation (what we do and say each and everyday).

Agreed. I don`t spend much time thinking about this. Illusion or not, does it matter? Do what you got to do, If you philosophically do
not have free will, it will not stop you.

It's especially disheartening to see that cognitive outlook adopted by individuals who are stuck in emotional and physical ruts.

Quote
I believe that this is but one stage in a multi-entity existence, whereby each time an entity dies they advance to another level of existence

What do you mean by advance? hierarchical process? A type of reincarnation? I know you can`t possibly have answers for me, but
feel free to speculate on this :)

Religions generally seek to pad a bleak existence that seems to feel otherwise unbearable? The need to explain the Outside seems to arise because people find no solace in the mortal realm. It's an idea that grew from the same vein as the lack of free-will excuse. I can't support any mindset that suggests nothing good is possible in the world without intervention - Alien, Metaphysical, or Divine. Humans are not irreversible corruptible. And as there are many possibly negative incarnations of a human being, I have to believe in an equal number of positive incarnations (as much as those connotations exist as anthropomorphic human distinctions). Just takes a new type of strength and an honest appraisal of the field of battle, as it stands today.

Lol - ramble aside.

I don't know, Royce. So add to the lack of free-will excuse, the next life is better excuse, then I begin to think about Buddhist reincarnation and the Wheel of Samsara - it must include entities not limited to either Earth-borne species or even our single Universe. If any God wanted to test us (as per the religious enumeration) and grant us life eternal, then a single human lifetime is not trial enough. Thus, a lopsided argument is born to do something with this lifetime.

FB said it best, in that, we might, and most likely do, have only one life to live, no second chances to do differently...

Live boldly.

I realize I didn't give you much, Royce - I think too many answers are locked into some of the better short-story ideas of mine. Like if all human life is a boot camp for a Heavenly Army. Or human life is like parole for a metaphysical jail, you're try never to go back to.

However, there are things that need to be considered. Punishment for crimes, for example.

Should criminals be punished? What does rehabilitation mean in this context? If they have no free will, then it's not really their "fault". At the same time, we need to consider if we can create an environment and society were criminality is less likely to exist or flourish. Which we already do, sort of. But there's still that element of "punishment". It's, "You did this thing", which I don't know is the correct way to go about it. Well, I definitely don't think it's the right way to go about it, but of course this (like most of this thread) could be partitioned off into a thread itself.

Hmm... maybe it will. Again, you've highlight only a few of a number of ways things get complex quickly. A single human life is in many cases indistinguishable from the social and cultural conditions it is borne into; life is an expression of the way we conceptually organize and embody our conceptual structures, as you write. "You did this thing" certainly seems impractical. However, I think that the all crimes are a form of brain dysfunction, which is what is slowly happening in response to 'You did this thing,' is equally dangerous. Especially when systems of justice seem to serve the existing manifestation of state.

Overall though, the things listed above do not especially affect my reality, even if I do try to be aware of them. Perhaps the biggest thing for me in daily life is that I do believe we have one life to live. One chance in the spotlight, so to speak. And that should be considered by everyone, all the time, when making the decisions we make. I very much like Alan Watts' (probably one my bigger role models) idea on how we live our lives, see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnFUDVpFwFQ. If you have a dream in life, follow it. The idea of picking a particular career, not because it's what you love, but because it's the thing you can most tolerate, only to make money, which you then use to do...what? By a car. Buy a house. Find a lover. Have kids. Keep working your whole life. Eventually retire and die. The whole time you really wanted to be a musician, or painter, or athlete, or whatever. But you didn't do that because it wasn't realistic. You have to be "a real person".

Amazing. Everything you've described here gives me shivers. Money is no object. I will gladly exert my energy to benefit another in exchange for their energy. But I cannot stand by and let this be the continued and lasting incarnation of human manifestation.

Unless of course your dream is to get a job you can tolerate just to support a typical lifestyle and have a family, etc. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. The overarching point, here, is that I find it baffling for anyone to not follow their dream, whatever it is.

Indeed. In light of things I've said and written before I'd probably find myself at odds with such people - and I have in my lifetime when I encounter them, usually, because of their limited capacity to acknowledge other, alternative, possibilities.

As to your final points about technological optimism, I would agree thematically, that we aren't intricately important in the grand scheme and that technology is part-and-parcel of the environment, we've just manipulated or co-opted different aspects of matter as it exists.

However, we live now. Maclean's recently had the '70% of the human body can be reliably replaced' issue. I value our underused form as it exists too much to suggest that we can only do better if we augment ourselves (I'm not big on excuses, you might gather). The argument becomes tricky when we realize that amputees will be quickly go from handi-capable to form-mastery as the technology proceeds. We can wire a leg right into the human nervous system that has a number of different axis of movement to return someone's former range of motion to them... or easily, greater than. I don't think humans currently maintain the restraint not to pursue task-specific augmentation as much as I abhor what that is going to do to the playing field.

Just thoughts, always.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 03:24:14 pm by Madness »
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2013, 05:31:45 pm »
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But I think the question is something of a trap, Royce

Well, I might have to clarify what I am trying to say :) Collectivism does not exist. Only individual choices do, and individuals can be manipulated into believing that "collectively" this or that is good or bad and what not. I think the size of tribes around the world is insane. A tribe with 300 million people, collectively agreeing what is good or bad through the highly symbolic action of voting? It sounds like a tragic comedy, but it is actually happening.

I think a more healthy focus on yourself, through whatever means you feel works, to get rid of stress, uncertainty, and fear, would help many people make better choices for themselves. Meditation works for me, it has helped me not to take life so seriously. There is absolutely no way you can be in control of anything, the "now" is impossible to predict, so stop trying. Same with the "future", it does not exist. Anything can happen at any moment, so just relax and try to enjoy this fascinating journey :)

Quote
Religions generally seek to pad a bleak existence that seems to feel otherwise unbearable?

This is correct. Although it is a complex issue. I do not know about you but I am happy with my life at the moment, I do not need to be convinced there is a happy and never ending life which awaits me when I rot in the ground. Plenty of people actively seek this assurance for reasons I can totally understand. A mortal life which is pure horror every day is probably hard to live with. If this religious deception helps them, I do not feel I can judge them. Is it my right to take that little hope away from them? This issue will never cease to exist either, since there will always be people in need, especially the way the world works today.

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I can't support any mindset that suggests nothing good is possible in the world without intervention - Alien, Metaphysical, or Divine

No, but I do enjoy a healthy dose of metaphysical speculation now and again, although my feet are planted on the ground :) It is kind of funny when you see this distinction that has arisen lately between religion and spirituality. People say things like "I am not religious, but I am very spiritual". That is basically the same thing. The "spiritual" person only takes the positives from religion (chanting,community,mystical experiences and so on), and just leave out the negative ones (male dominant,rigid,literally believing in the word of god,exploitation,wealth obsession and so on). All these negative aspects are not really religion either, it is politics, geopolitics, and many egoes flexing their muscles. We call this organized religion I guess, and when religion gets organized in this way it ceases to be a religion and becomes a political party. I am not religious, I am just rambeling :)

Gladly FB mentioned Alan Watts earlier, and I also have him as one of my favorites. I have to admit to a certain liking of taoism because of him. To me it is the only ism that makes sense so far. Although I do not quite grasp it , the simplicity attracts me.

I wish I could dig deeper in this discussion with you guys, but my skills in English restrict me. Hope I make some sense though :)

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I think too many answers are locked into some of the better short-story ideas of mine

I would love to read some of those sometime :) I am hoping I can shear some of mine in the future too, if I can get someone to translate them for me :) Lots of great stuff on this forum too ;)



Francis Buck

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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2013, 08:39:19 pm »
I wish I could dig deeper in this discussion with you guys, but my skills in English restrict me. Hope I make some sense though :)

You English is great, I honestly would've never even thought you weren't a native speaker if you hadn't mentioned it.

ETA: I also wanted to mention that I should clarify my earlier point about the whole "follow your dream" thing. Obviously people need to live, and feed themselves, and so on. I mean my dream is to be a writer and filmmaker, but I still work regular jobs. The greater point is to never give up on the dream, and especially don't treat it as something that one shouldn't do because it's not what you're "supposed to do". There's a strong social pressure in the west (and I presume many other cultures worldwide) that if you don't follow this specific sort of lifestyle, then you're somehow not doing it right (it being life), or that you're lazy, or naive, or whatever incarnation the criticism takes, and that's what I think people need to consider.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 01:28:26 am by Francis Buck »

Royce

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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2013, 01:14:42 pm »
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You English is great, I honestly would've never even thought you weren't a native speaker if you hadn't mentioned it.

Thanks for that FB :) It just takes so much time to translate concepts, I used almost 2 hours on my previous post.

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ETA: I also wanted to mention that I should clarify my earlier point about the whole "follow your dream" thing. Obviously people need to live, and feed themselves, and so on. I mean my dream is to be a writer and filmmaker, but I still work regular jobs. The greater point is to never give up on the dream, and especially don't treat it as something that one shouldn't do because it's not what you're "supposed to do". There's a strong social pressure in the west (and I presume many other cultures worldwide) that if you don't follow this specific sort of lifestyle, then you're somehow not doing it right (it being life), or that you're lazy, or naive, or whatever incarnation the criticism takes, and that's what I think people need to consider.

Agreed. It is hard to fulfill dreams, since my daughter needs to eat and so on :) Luckily for me I can do a lot of writing at work. I also might add that to me it is enough just to be able to write. The thing in itself is very rewarding, even though my ego is yelling at me for recognition and fame :) I try to keep a healthy distance between my ego and the satisfaction of the writing process in itself. The market is so small in Norway anyway, so to "make it" as a writer you have to write soft housewife porn, or a straight forward detective story :), which is not at all what I do.

Callan S.

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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2013, 10:37:38 pm »
That none of this makes sense and thus shouldn't exist does strike me - even seemingly (to me) to a blasphemous degree. But not multiple times per week, only when I draw on it (due to whatever related subject coming up)

I can't really stand the infinite universe thing, for being so dreadfully wasteful, never mind how extra, extra pointless it makes anything. Everything you do in one would be countered in another one. Every perfect place would have a counter perfect place of misery.

More down to earth, I believe we are all piecemeal handing away our liberty for the convenience of buying food. And in regard to that the more you grow your own food, if only a few herbs, the more bargaining power you reclaim for yourself and others.

Further I believe because we don't generate goods ourselves anymore, charity has been shot in the ass. That we need to give goods to others (not just a really nice smile), simply as an act of goodwill, to connect as a community. That we have fallen to the convenience of buying means we don't grow anything to give, and as usual, anything bought with money we are lothe to give away (let alone give our money away simply for charities sake). Too many people think they have figured the other guys uglyness, when if the other guy had given them some goods beforehand, such uglyness wouldn't seem so 'obvious'.

sciborg2

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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2013, 03:47:32 pm »
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More down to earth, I believe we are all piecemeal handing away our liberty for the convenience of buying food. And in regard to that the more you grow your own food, if only a few herbs, the more bargaining power you reclaim for yourself and others.

+1. Urban farming, IMO, might offer a chance to emancipate people from the system more than any anarchist revolution.
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Garet Jax

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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2013, 04:22:39 pm »
My outlook on life is rather bleak and depressing.

I feel that we are just freaks of nature.  No higher power, no Gaia life stream, and no infinite universe.  I may or may not have resorted to this notion due to my mind having an utter inability to comprehend infinity, therefore I have no real alternative to offer. 

Whether there is life outside of Earth, I couldn't tell you but if there was, I believe it would be an equally serendipitous instance as our own.

The two things I DO believe in is love and family.  IMO, those are the keys to a happy and successful life, despite whatever your culture tries to force feed you.

To be honest I am genuinely surprised that this "belief system" hasn't sent me in a downward spiral into deep depression. I like to think it is because I try to only focus on what I can control and deem important; I love unconditionally until someone proves to me I shouldn't and there is nothing that I wouldn't do for my family. 

If I only measure myself with those two things, I can convince myself that I am happy and successful.

Edit: I meant to say Royce, English is my first language and I feel you have a better handle on how to use it than I do.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 04:50:48 pm by Garet Jax »