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Ivan/tapes
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 08:46 pm:   

Tapes that drive us are playing in our heads all the time. What 'beliefs' are represented there, and what actions follow?

300px-Itsukushima_torii_angle.jpg
Shinto shrine

This thread is a continuation of two prior discussions, In Confirmation of our Christian Values, and Concepts -misconceptions- and Principles of Belief, both of which remain open, as suggested by Naive's post. It should be fun to explore what is it that makes us be who we are in our beliefs, and makes us do what we do in our actions. Are the tapes playing voluntarily, or are they subliminal, so we are not even aware? I leave the discussion open, and will return with my own thoughts as well. Thanks.

Ivan
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Naive
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 12:58 am:   

Thanks Ivan,

As I was thinking about this topic, I realized there is something beautiful, yet sad behind the idea that our beliefs drive our actions. I suppose that is why there has been such a premium on controlling belief in the past. I think it is beautiful, because beliefs have spawned incredible cultural achievements. On the otherhand, I lament the fact that many of us do not possess the tools to create beyond our beliefs.

Maybe we need to do a better job of teaching our society that between belief and action, a set of skills must be mastered. I am sorry to say the nation's education system is failing in its duty to provide this toolbox of skills. I am afraid of the members of society who commit to action, with very limited knowledge of their own beliefs and even less exposure to world events and thinkers of the past.

How shall we remedy this?



Naive
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Ivan/inner action
Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 10:10 am:   

Tai Chi Chuan and inner action.


180px-Tai_Chi1.jpg (interactive)
Tai Chi practice in Beijing's Temple of Heaven

Many in the Western tradition like to practice 'Tai Chi' , as it is commonly called, for purposes of health and form. The origins of this form of 'martial art' was for whole body training, to both maintain a healthy body as well as martial ability, but also for mental discipline. Or as per Wiki:

quote:

Along with Yoga, tai chi is one of the fastest growing fitness and health maintenance activities in the U.S.[7] and Canada. Because there is no universal certification process, practically anyone can call themself a teacher. This is especially prevalent in the New Age community. Few of these teachers are aware of the martial applications to the tai chi forms and do not teach martially. If they do teach self-defense, it is often a mixture of motions which the teachers think look like tai chi chuan with some other system. While this phenomenon may have made some external aspects of tai chi available for a wider audience, the traditional tai chi schools see the martial focus as a fundamental part of their training, both for health and self-defense purposes. The traditional schools claim that while the students may not need to practice martial applications to derive a benefit from tai chi training, they assert that tai chi teachers at least should know the martial applications to teach correct and safe movements. Also, the ability to protect oneself from physical attack is considered part of "health maintenance." For these reasons traditional schools claim that a syllabus lacking the martial aspects is not teaching the art, and is less likely to reproduce the full health benefits of tai chi.


Also taken as a sport activity, or just mental and body wellness, it has helped invigorate the practitioners, and maintain a youthful vigor for those more elderly, especially from medical conditions due to aging, such as heart attacks, arthritis, etc.

The 'belief' in Tai Chi may thus be something that helps our activity, or 'actions' in a more positive way, since it takes a disciplined mind and body to 'act out' the belief involved. In performing what are in essence 'martial arts' steps, one then centers oneself, much like in Yoga, to bring the body's and mind's functions into some semblance of balance with one another, hopefully with health beneficial effects, or at least personal calm, balanced self-control, and ultimately a healthier life. So here is a 'belief' that helps guide our 'actions' in a positive way, as opposed to beliefs that guide individuals into self-destructive and unhealthy ways. Look at the whole person, and see how they walk, what they say, their overall body posture and shape, the glow of health on their cheeks, smile in their eyes, or lack thereof, and you are seeing how they 'believe' in their actions; or conversely, how they 'act' in their belief, right down to their very cells of the body.

In effect, what we believe affects us entirely, not just in our actions, but in our very being. The example of Tai Chi shows how though we live in a turbulent world there are places we can retreat into for serenity or healthful peace in ourselves. But those 'actions' are focussed entirely on ourselves, and not the world around us, so we find a kind of sanctuary of belief to withdraw, even if only temporarily. In the past a visit to temple shrines, or church and mosque, might have offered the same tranquility, at least spiritually, unless it was 'politicized' through belief into taking that tranquility away, and to stir us up into action, through belief. In today's world, where for most of us such spiritual tranquility is illusive, or found in a secular setting, such as doing Tai Chi in the park, many have turned away from religious beliefs, if they no longer satisfy that inner need for peace.

Thoughts on this? I am searching myself, so cannot offer much, except some rudimentary ideas, and links to pursue this further... How are our beliefs and actions interlinked, not merely within ourselves inwardly, but overtly in how we respond through choices and actions with the outside world, or our common humanity, or nature?

Ivan
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Naive
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2008 - 03:48 am:   

The search is on . . .

That is what life is all about: discovering personal beliefs and developing a world outlook. These things should be in a state of improvement. Sure we all have a code of ethics that dictates our actions, but how much of that is associated with belief as opposed to fear of consequence? For the moral being actions are guided by conscience, which in turn may be shaped by a belief system. Belief systems, however, usually do not cover every possible senario that would invoke action. Here is where people who adhere to belief systems must become great logicians, rationalizing their actions against some standard THEY imagine would exist within that system!

Those with personalized belief systems must create their own standards of action.

I suppose these folks would have been loose cannons to the status quo organizations of the past (and therefore seen as dangerous to the status quo). Today, fortunately, we are able to choose (at least in the free parts of the world :-( ) the beliefs we wish to use as guides for our actions. Freedom seems to be the operative word . . . freedom from ridicule or attack based upon ideology. In this type of atmosphere, an individual may self-actualize potential and add his or her unique enlightenment to the world. Maybe freedom is the definition of true belief inspired action. For example, see how many creations of destruction have been inspired by tyranny and chaos, as opposed to the number beneficial creations inspired in an environment of freedom, or in an effort to reach a greater level of freedom.

I wonder how many people think about or appreciate the effect of freedom upon their beliefs and consequently, their actions. It is interesting to note that a great deal of apathetic action also results from this level of freedom. This is the paradox the American dream is built upon!


Naive
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Ivan/words
Posted on Sunday, January 20, 2008 - 11:53 pm:   

'Belief' can also be semantics?

In the example on Pain posted elsewhere, I say it is Subjective, while Jim calls it Objective. But this may be no more than an issue of Semantics, that we both call something we all know intimately by different names. Yet, how we reason from this basic premise then leads us to find different conclusions, though we are both talking about the same thing, something we all know.

Neither is necessarily right or wrong, but from a base of semantics can come totally different conclusions, and concepts. How we then conclude these concepts can lead to our personal choice of actions, which follow from how we chose to accept a word's semantics. So is this a case of 'personalized belief' system? Or as Naive points out:

quote:

Those with personalized belief systems must create their own standards of action.


But do we have the freedom then to proceed with our own choices and actions, in a social setting, if given the freedom to choose our semantics? I don't know... Maybe this is the power of words?

For example, I might use the word "freedom" and for me it has positive conotations; but for another the word migh cause them to recoil in horror. Or if I say "submission", for me it has negative conotations, but for another it is a desirable positive thing. How do we dialogue then, if words have such different semantics? Or can we ever come to an understanding that would cause us to act in unison and in some beneficial way, if these words have such different meanings for us?

Ivan
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Humancafe
Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 12:56 pm:   

I Have a Dream

180px-Martin_Luther_King_-_March_on_Washington.jpg
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering his speech at DC Civil Rights March.

Our beliefs power our actions, and our dreams define who we are.

A great Martin Luther King Day to all on this historic day.
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Ivan/State of Planet
Posted on Sunday, February 03, 2008 - 01:28 pm:   

'State of the Planet' Belief System.


over4.jpg (interactive)
Renewable energy

Where are we as a planet, the third world from the Sun, endowed with life giving oceans and atmosphere, and crowded with myriad species of living things, including nearly 7 billion humans? What kind of Planet Belief System can be suitably sustainable for a burgeoning humanity? What is the state of our world?

quote:

The search is on . . .

That is what life is all about: discovering personal beliefs and developing a world outlook. These things should be in a state of improvement. Sure we all have a code of ethics that dictates our actions, but how much of that is associated with belief as opposed to fear of consequence? For the moral being actions are guided by conscience, which in turn may be shaped by a belief system. Belief systems, however, usually do not cover every possible senario that would invoke action. Here is where people who adhere to belief systems must become great logicians, rationalizing their actions against some standard THEY imagine would exist within that system! -- Naive



We need a Planetary Belief System to unify all those competing belief systems now operating in the collective minds of humanity, to unify us into One World. This is not necessarily a political belief system, though that will result in turn, but an operative human system of belief that ties together the world into one common humanity, so all benefit from our actions based on such belief, and none are coerced against their will to adhere to it. Belief is personal, and as such it must be a personally acceptable system that empowers us to think and act individually, but also universally in ways beneficial to the planet at large, and not merely to serve our individual interests. Though, such belief may not conflict with our common interests if we do not conflict with the right of belief of others, reciprocally. The natural morality that then flows from a Planetary Belief system is necessarily a humanistic one, where humanity is served for its best potentials, now and into the future of humankind, so that our world can progress in ways it had done so only at the margins; where a few are served but not humanity as a whole. Then whatever actions each individual takes, based upon his or her personal belief, serves the human needs of a whole world, both in our imaginings and dreams, as well as in our thoughts and actions, as a service to Our Planet Earth.

If we were to take an informal inventory of where we are as a State of the World today, it may look like this, in gross numbers:

  • Communications and ease of travel: 90%
  • Universal literacy and education: 80%
  • Freedom from hunger: 70%
  • Right to clean air, land and water: 60%
  • Right to personal health and healing: 50%
  • Freedom of conscience and from illegal coercions: 40%
  • Access to ecologically sound renewable energy: 30%
  • Universal tolerance for all other races and human groups: 20%
  • Peace and freedom from violence: 10%

So what is wrong with this picture, if this were an approximately fair assessment of Planet Earth today? If literacy and education, as well as communications, are widespread, then the ability to read and communicate to understand another should not be a factor of our human failures to come together in a humanistic way as a world. And if hunger, not necessarily poverty, since 'poverty' may mean different things for different human groups (a simple villager with a cow, some chickens, a simple house and garden may feel 'rich' in one region, while an owner of a large house, three cars and five flat screen TVs may feel 'poor' in another, for example), then to find a way to feed humanity, through higher yielding crops, better land and water management, there is no reason our world cannot achieve nearly 100% for all humanity. But if water and land are damaged by pollution or ill use, or poisoned with chemicals and radioactivity, or controlled in ways not beneficial to human activity (large land barons who 'bank' their land for use other than ecological preserves), then there is a gap in the planet's ability to feed us, or to render us healthy. We cannot be healthy as a human species if our air and other natural resources are poisoned, and we must ingest the poison daily. This includes manufactured foods (including chemically intensive farming and animal husbandry) where what we put in our mouths is filled with hormones, refined high fructose sugars, salts and animal fats, which render us physically obese and unhealthy with diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and joint problems, or infertility. But these address only the material well being of humanity, and not the emotional and mental, hence spiritual well being, in which we suffer as well.

Our right to our freedoms is still such a new idea that for much of humanity it is an idea as if from another world. The horrible treatment of minorities in many societies, especially religious minorities persecuted for their faith, keeps our levels of tolerance at deplorably low levels. That religious persecution still exists in the 21st century, often infringed upon violently by a 7th century ideology, is a travesty which none should tolerate in the modern world. But the world in many regions is very far from modern. Look at Afghanistan for example; what chance of religious tolerance exists there? If the land is not free from violence, and is rendered unproductive because of such violence, as is evidenced in large parts of Africa, or the Middle East, then humanity is failing itself there. Good governance for the purpose of helping a common cause of justice and peace cannot come of intolerance and violent oppression of anyone's beliefs. What we believe, religiously or otherwise, is intensely personal, and when politicized by those in power over such beliefs as the norm, all human beings born into such poor governance suffer, and cannot achieve the other needs of humanity; so everything from literacy to productivity suffers, including the ecological network so necessary to sustain habitat for all living things. We cannot expect destruction of nature yielding good results. When forests are cut down in South America, or wildlife hunted and killed in Europe or North America, or Africa and Asia, we all as a planet suffer from the loss of natural habitat. Then when the seas and oceans are poisoned with waste, or through aggressive aquatic over harvesting, our sustainability as a living planet is threatened. Also, ill use of our natural resources, especially burning of carbon fuels, further damages the planet with pollutants, and now threatens irreversible climate change with potential global warming, so all life is at risk. Yet, it all reduces down to how we treat each other, if we are good trustees of our common goal for the well being of the whole planet. It is our responsibility as the most conscious beings of the planet; whether with respect for the individual, and reciprocity of respect, or respect for all life; so we all enjoy the benefits of our human presence, interacting as free and aware beings. Or else it is the opposite effect, where some are masters over slaves, and all humanity, all life suffers. Such injustice to free human beings cannot be contained within borders in this modern age, as the mass migrations out of failing societies into more successful societies gives witness today, with all its negative social ramifications; and the destruction of living habitat becomes endemic. Religious fanaticism and terrorism did not form out of a vacuum; the power brokers of a 7th century regressive Islam are playing on failed human beliefs, and actions, to spread their misery to all parts of the globe. The resulting poverty of both social failures and environmental failures then affects the whole world, and all living species of the planet.

Lastly, it is oil, and our use of oil energy, that must be brought down to negligible usage with better forms of renewable, and perhaps even as yet to be invented, means of producing power for our complex economic productive sustenance. We pollute more with oil than any other product, the same oil the religious fanatical power brokers are using as ransom over us, that it must be virtually repealed. The sun shines on the whole world, as do winds and ocean waves; and additional renewable energy from waste products, or recycled waste, can be made clean to power our industries and technological societies, universally. We cannot grow with sustainable stability as a world, and ultimately with a stable birth rate for sustainable world population, without first addressing our pollution worldwide, both in terms of chemical waste and plastics, as well as damaging gases from our machinery powered by oil. Our health suffers, and ultimately, so does our social interaction as a free people. We must bring down the use of petrochemicals to some sustainable and non-polluting level, so all land and water and air are clean, as they can clean themselves up to a point, so that their productivity does not endanger our health. Rather, it is far more desirable if our planetary ecology enhances our body's natural abilities to heal itself through wholesome foods and clean environments as products of renewable energy.

Peace is the ultimate goal, and rather than being at the bottom of the inventory, it should be at the top. In fact, all of the above should be at the 90% level for us to be a viable and sustainable planet. The power brokers of primitive sectarian belief systems are as damaging to our planet's well being as those who pollute it with waste and disease causing agents, ruining the health and happiness of all living species. This is especially hard on the weak, our women and children, because they are powerless against those coercive forces and suffer the most under their oppression and violence. Freedom is still a new idea in the world, and that too must be brought up, as a universal concept for the planet, to the 90% level for all humanity. Freedom under a just and reasonable constitutional form of government, with or without democracy (if dignity and rights of individual are upheld), raises humanity to its next level of achievements, where each individual is empowered to do their best, and become their very best. How much of the world enjoys such freedoms today, and how much of it still labors under a primitively feudal master-slave system? It all is interrelated, so all must be brought up to a higher level, planet wide.

The State of our Planet must be brought up to a higher level, to eliminate fear and hunger, and instead bring it up to personal freedoms and joy, universally for all life, so it will impact positively the whole Earth's ecosystem, from the simplest algae in the oceans, to the vast tracts of remaining wilderness, to the most sophisticated human habited cities. We all benefit, because we are all interrelated, and the Planetary Belief System must address all these equally, if we are to raise ourselves from such low percentiles. We are One World. And yet the most illusive one world Peace is what we wish for most of all... or so we say. What is it we really believe? And what is it we really do? If the third planet from our Sun is ever to see light of its true spirit, we must believe at our highest possible level of achievements, at the 90% for all of the above. Then, perhaps, if we really are not alone as a species in a vast and living Universe, then perhaps we will be invited to join the rest of Universal Humanity. Until then, our world may remain poor and off limits, as too primitive to approach.... our capacity for growth is immense. But even if we do it only for ourselves, we must define a Planetary Belief System that is ecologically and humanistically sound. What we believe today will change our world tomorrow, and may today's ills become forgotten in the history of all those who will succeed us.

In closing, Sir David Attenborough said in his "State of the Planet":

quote:

"The future of life on earth depends on our ability to take action. Many individuals are doing what they can, but real success can only come if there's a change in our societies and our economics and in our politics. I've been lucky in my lifetime to see some of the greatest spectacles that the natural world has to offer. Surely we have a responsibility to leave for future generations a planet that is healthy, inhabitable by all species."


I agree. The search is on...

Ivan
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Ivan/lucky or not
Posted on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 - 01:54 am:   

What's luck got to do with it?

180px-Dice.jpg

Feeling lucky? How about a game of chance? In fact, every second of our lives is such a game, or as the old Norse saying goes, "those born unlucky die young". So to be alive is 'lucky' already, and for most of us who do not really believe in luck in the old fashion way, we are grateful when it is good, and brush off as chance when not. The fact remains that we are all so incredibly lucky in every moment of our lives, even if we are mostly unawares of how lucky we are. We make our own luck, mostly, through hard work and thought, and good choices. My hard drive totally crashed today, so I feel 'unlucky' at the moment and must default to my ancient Mac to write this. But I am also serenely calm, because there is a reason for everything, even 'bad luck'. :-)

We live a life so miraculous and wondrous that to have occasional things not go right is no matter, it all comes out in the wash in the end.

For me luck is when everything works together, in harmony and without interruptions or conflct, like the whole universe is with you. And since I believe we are all connected psychically though we do not know it yet, it is also when we are all working together in unison for betterment in all things. We are not isolated, but when 'lucky' are very much a part of the whole, the complete whole, even the infinite whole. And in those rare moments when I actually connect with this knowledge, I feel serene and calm, even when things go wrong, because that is the greatest luck anyone can ever have.


Cheers, bonne chance, Ivan
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Ivan/monastic
Posted on Saturday, March 29, 2008 - 10:56 am:   

The Monastic Complex.

Giovanni_di_Paolo_The_Mystic_Marriage_of_Saint_Catherine_of_Siena,.jpg
Saint Catherine of Siena, her mystic marriage

It is a curiosity that some men and women prefer a monastic lifestyle to that of modern secular society, even today. I have Sikh friends who left a secular world for various personal reasons and joined an order of life that demands a certain kind of dress and regimen of behavior, some of which is physically grueling, even awaking in the middle of the night to read the Gurdwara. I have known monks who returned to secular life, and some who left the world for the monastery. These are choices people make for many reasons, but the overriding one is to leave a free way of life and enter one regimented with specific forms of behavior, and thought, as well as dress and place. Once one enters monastery or convent walls, it is a different world from outside, one closed off from worldly influence. I had never been drawn to monasticism, though I had visited monasteries both in the US and abroad, and researched information for when writing Scriptorium; it is a fascinating way of life. What would make a person leave the world to enter a cloistered order?

The same question could be asked of why would men and women leave their formerly free way of life to enter a religion that demands of them a quasi-monastic lifestyle? When Westerners join an Indian ashram, or Sikhism, or enter Islam, they give up their former freedoms to obey in submission, sometimes strict submission, to the demands of the order. I was standing the other night in line at a major department store next to a woman whose dress was floor length, covering her arms to her wrists, and head and neck covered by a hijab. She appeared of Middle Eastern origin, was soft spoke in fluent English, and stood out as something apart from the other women, giving impression as someone more pious. At least that was what, I assumed an Islamic woman, she was portraying to the world, as someone not really a part of it. For Western women to choose this way of life means they too have accepted this separateness from society, which is then exemplified in their dress and manner. Could this be the fundamental underlying motivation for leaving the world of freedom secularism, to enter a convent like monastic form of life? The ways of the world are complex, overwhelming, while the ways of the monastic order are well defined, even simplified. One is told exactly what to do, when and how, and what to believe and think. So when a woman puts on a hijab, she has basically redefined her life to herself in a simplified fashion, where personal responsibilities are now relegated to the conventions of the order, which in this case is the total submission to a philosophy of life as defined by the prophet Mohammed and his followers. What would make a person do this? It can only mean that responsibility of one's personal life is shifted over to a system of group life, one of regimented mental and body discipline in exchange for personal thought. I find this most curious, that freedom is not a universally desired thing, but that some would prefer submission to a quasi-monastic form of life. The men of Islam, for example, are required to pray five times daily in a regimented format of bowing to Mecca, which if they chose this of their own free will (not always the case in strict Islam) they have committed themselves to this regimented form of prayer. Unlike free prayer, where one opens one's soul to God, this form of prayer is strictly defined as to form of how the faith demands one prays. Even my Baha'i friends submit to a more subtle form of worship restricting their behaviors or thoughts, though they may not be totally aware that they had done so. In any religious format, from Christianity to Buddhism, there are restrictions one must follow if one is to be truly pious, and especially so in Islam.

So the woman standing next to me in a public place covered from head to toe is in effect exhibiting a 'monastic complex' in her appearance and manners. This could be a good thing for her, though if I were a woman I would prefer a freer way of life, where my body and mind is open to the fresh air and light of the natural world. But that would be my choice because I am free. If a person rejects freedom, then that is their choice, which they may freely do. However, the drawback to this is that once such freedom is forfeited there is no turning back, sometimes ever for the rest of one's life and the life of all children yet to be born. In Islam, to join in to this quasi-monastic order is a one way ticket, because the return trip back to a freedom based life of personal responsibility rather than group think is forbidden, under penalty of death. It should not be an idle choice if so. Fortunately, in most closed orders the exit is not blocked, and one is free to leave if they choose to do so. But if blocked, severely blocked, what beliefs would ever drive a person to take such action?

Ivan
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Mark Abadi
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 10:55 pm:   

Syntonium: Welcome to the home of Simply Holistic Healing.


meditation street blended.jpg

Training, Workshops & Seminars:

quote:

It is my aim to help the general public return to and maintain the best possible state of physical and mental health. From individual holistic therapy to group and couple mediation. No situation is beyond assistance.



"DEAR IVAN,

WE HAVE A BRILLIANT CONFERENCE ON UNIFYING PHYSICS AND CONSCIOUSNESS IN BUDAPEST IN MAY."

quote:

Mark Abadi, Conference Committee, UTC, UTC@markabadi.com; +44 7773 284 966

UNIFIED THEORIES CONFERENCE II
May 2008


CONFERENCE SPECIFICS

Location: Budapest.
Vár, Szentháromság tér 6, residency of the Magyar Kultúra Alapítvány. The hall of
the Hungarian Cultural Foundation, The Holy Trinity Square 6, The Buda Castle,
Buda, Budapest.

Official language: English
With simultaneous translation into Hungarian through radio headsets.

Conference Committee: Varga Csaba, Mark Abadi, Dienes István,

Conference Moderators: Mark Abadi (UK), Dienes István (HU).


CONFERENCE AIMS:

1. To facilitate development of Unified Theories & Meta Philosophies
concerning universal truths and consciousness;
2. To create a platform for sustained constructive dialogue between leading
scientists across the globe. Thus encouraging collaborations and alternative
perspectives to be used to advance understanding of the internal and external
workings of the universe.
3. To form an organization (The International Unified Theories Association –
TIUTA) whose function it will be to continually create opportunities for
collaboration and growth of understanding of universal functioning, through
theories, research and the application of research.


CONFERENCE TOPIC THEMES –

1. Unified Theories of Physics (An elaboration on the long discussed Unified
Theories of Physics, informed and added to through observation from other
scientific fields)

2. Unified Natural Sciences and Theories of Consciousness (Re-thinking
the unified theory of physics interlocking it with the unified natural
sciences and the theory of consciousness)

3. Unified Theories of Life and Human Existence (Extrapolation and application
of the Unified Theories of life and Human existence upon the foundation of the
unified theory of nature

4. Unified Theories of Religions and Sciences (The integration and collaboration
of religious and scientific theory)

5. Unified Meta-theories and Meta-philosophies (A build up of collective
theories of philosophies, sciences, religions and the arts)


Each of the 5 topics will have 3 Base Presenters (BPs) giving a 30 minute paper
each. - There will be 3 Commentary Presenters (CPs) who will sum up and
comment upon the 3 BP’s presentations. In order to facilitate discussion and
expanded perspectives, CPs will be from a different scientific background to that
of the BPs that they comment around. ...


Posted per request, Mark Abadi
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Le Chef
Posted on Monday, April 28, 2008 - 10:42 pm:   

Religions will always be with us!

nz004.jpg
Hello from God!

Religion a figment of human imagination?

Yessiree Mr. Magoo, what you can't see can't hurt you! :-)

Le Chef
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Spiritual being
Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2008 - 10:00 pm:   

Spirituality is not religion

People confuse the two. Religion is about God and rules. Spirituality is about empowering of the soul in the body. Religion keeps you down with rules. Spirituality sets your free with the power of the spirit. People should not confuse the two. One keeps you down, the other sets you free. The power of freedom is in real spirituality, not the other.

A spiritual being.
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History anonymous
Posted on Friday, June 20, 2008 - 01:09 am:   

History anonymous

History is one long succession of bad policy mistakes. Luckily we know to survive them with personal choices empowered by our souls. There is no substitute for right thinking and personal responsibility. You are in charge of your life. Be cool.

Anynomous
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Ivan/Sina's book
Posted on Saturday, June 21, 2008 - 12:10 pm:   

Ali Sina is reviewed in Jerusalem Post.

Muslim Mindset: 'The hatred is in Muhammad himself'

UnderstandingMuhammad.jpg (interactive -Amazon)

quote:

Sina, who runs Faith Freedom International - an Internet forum dedicated to debunking Islam - calls himself "probably the biggest anti-Islam person alive." The publication of his latest book, Understanding Muhammad: A Psychobiography of Allah's Prophet, will likely cement that position. In it, Sina suggests that Islam's central figure suffered from a series of mental disorders, including narcissistic personality disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder.

"These disorders," he says via telephone, "can explain the phenomenon known as Islam... which is nothing but one man's insanity."



This is the difference between religion and spirituality of truth, where the truth sets you free. Ali Sina used his spiritual truths to liberate himself from the oppressive tenets of his religion.

But how does one know if the spiritual quest for truth is from God or the devil? To a spiritual person the answer leaps out instantly, since they can smell a lie a mile away, whereas to a 'religious' person this is a murky question because their 'truth sensors' are modified by the tenets of their beliefs. Go with the spirit and do not go with fear of a devil, that doesn't even exist. Go with Truth. When Islam will mean Truth rather than 'submission' it will have gone from being an oppressive totally controlling religion to a spiritual faith. Other faiths have already made that leap. Will Islam's Quran translations into modern times do it too?

Please visit Faith Freedom to read more from Ali Sina's writings.

Ivan
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Happy 4th July
Posted on Thursday, July 03, 2008 - 09:44 am:   

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA !!
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Ivan/secret God-consciousness
Posted on Saturday, July 12, 2008 - 01:26 pm:   

Unlocking the secret of God Consciousness.


vegagoddessii.jpg (interactive)
"goddess ii" by Vega


Consciousness by most accepted definitions is a "subjective awareness", which most living things share to a greater or lesser degree. All life wants to live, and will flee or fight if frightened, and try to preserve itself. In human consciousness it goes one step further, that we are conscious of the self as conscious, which from what we know is an awareness given only to us. Animal life may be conscious of itself, but it may not be aware of that consciousness in itself; we humans know we are.

While out with friends for dinner we had a lively conversation over great seafood which took our talk from travel to religion. At one point Carol, who has Ph.Ds in Medieval religions and neurosciences and lectures at a local university, asked me if I believed in God's manifestations and progressive revelations, to which I replied that I did not. To me Jesus and Moses, Buddha or Mohammed and Baha'ullah, were enlightened beings in their own right, but not spokespersons for God. I remember saying it would take an incredible ego for anyone to think they could speak for God, to which she asked me if I believed in God. Of course I do. Then, why believe in God? This was a great question, to which I replied that spirituality in God is not the same as religious belief in God, though there is nothing wrong with believing in God through religion. While Mark and Cinzia's conversation turned to other topics, Carol and I turned to science and religion, but focussed on this one question: Why believe in God? We both believed in the scientific principles of unlocking the truth of our universe, but how does that validate our belief in God? Are believers in God only from religion, or can it be secularly scientific as well? Very powerful question, which while we talked my fish dinner was turning cold as we chatted on the outdoor patio.

This is a big breath taking question, and my response was that the universal reality seems to be oriented towards a progressive evolution of mind consciousness, such as we humans possess, but that in itself does not prove God exists. We talked of the scientific idea that all in existence is light, or a combination of electromagnetic energy formed into atoms of existence, probably through an internal mechanism within the atom where such light modifies it (by some means not yet understood) into all the matter and energy of the universe. This leads to a belief that the universe is interactive, that all is interconnected into a vast infinite interrelationship of being, of which one aspect of this mega-being is the evolution of consciousness. But we humans, though more evolved consciously than other life forms, are still woefully inadequate to understand the full implications of what that mega-consciousness really is like, and perhaps only at the irrational level of love-consciousness can we even begin to approach its fullness. How beautiful is love, if not the most beautiful human emotion? In our ego we have an awareness of "I am", but this may be only scratching the surface of our total being, and we are not yet equipped psychologically, and possibly biologically, to understand "I am my God consciousness" in any manner that communicates to our inner subjective being; we still only see this in an "objective" sense, rationally, that it might be so; real consciousness is still illusive for us. So for any one being to claim they can speak for God consciousness becomes absurd, because we are not equipped to really know it. The best any one of us can do, as maturing conscious beings, is to bring our own perspective on what God-consciousness represents for us, as all great religious teachers had, but this may fall very far short of what it actually is. Yet, we are free to believe in God, if we wish, without having to turn to a particular religion to do so. In fact, though I did not belabor this, I think religious dogma may actually hold us back from knowing God.

Our ideas exist within a framework of beliefs, things we accepted as being true, so that what we come to believe about God, or an atheistic belief that "there is no God", is controlled by this framework of beliefs, of necessity. In a scientific principles framework, we see the whole universe as the backdrop against which our beliefs are formed; while in a socio-religious context, we see the whole universe of being as framed by the religious teachings. Such teachings, if one accepts progressive revelations, are handed down to us through generations of beliefs which had been accepted as true, though they may or may not connect with the universal reality. To constrain the mind to only the framework of what was taught and written in holy texts of necessity limits the mind to such constraints; this is a condition which was shattered with the discoveries of science over the past few centuries where the religious authorities were challenged with hard facts observed in reality. The Earth ceased being the center of the universe, and likewise the human condition ceased being the center of all belief systems. We are more than what we have come to believe as true, and the discovery of new universal truths forces us to look beyond ourselves in examining the nature of all existence. Though we live in this universe as conscious beings, we are surrounded by a reality that is still far more complex than of what we are conscious, and it is for our individual consciousness to delve deeper into its mysteries. This is the evolution of mind, same as the biological evolutions of all species, that our human understanding must reach deeper into those mysteries that evolve along with us. So the only valid place to find such universal truths is the universe itself, and not some man's interpretations of what they think God made them think, or say. This is the prime reason human freedom of belief and thought is so important an imperative. Each one of us is an open book on which God is writing our reality for us, and no one may constrain that by shutting its pages for us. We each and everyone of us has a right to seek that greater God-consciousness according to our ability, and consciousness, beyond the constraints of any one religion. The primary reason this is so is because we are unconscious of what that greater consciousness can be, since our consciousness has not yet reached its full potential. This is axiomatic, that we can only be conscious of what we are conscious, and anything beyond that must still be discovered, which makes it an open book of unlocking future consciousness potentials.

My wife and I talk of this often, how to become a better person with deeper consciousness? Humanity through time had tried many approaches, such as meditation and yoga, or religious beliefs, but these are not of themselves the only paths open to knowing ourselves, or our place in the universe. Scientific inquiries give us glimpses of greater truths, but these too still do not necessarily open for us a greater consciousness. For example, science cannot answer for us "who we are" except to study the neurological impulses of the brain, where when certain functions are shut off our consciousness is impaired. A person in a coma is still a Who, though they are no longer conscious of it. What most have come to accept is that we are connected in our deeper feelings, in matters of the heart, to some inner being of our Who, so there may be channels there through which we can at times glimpse a greater inner reality. If we can then connect that reality to the outer universal reality, we may be gaining insights into the whole God-consciousness potentials, but for most of us this remains illusive. How do we know what we feel inside is what the universe is evolving for us? Each such discovery connects us slightly more into that greater feeling we have inside, that "who I am" that is conscious of itself as a subjective being, but we do not have the mechanisms in place to connect that to a greater universal reality. The universe is alive on its own terms, and we are mere spectators, since other than through our biological reproductive system we are unable to create life. But the universe does create life, as it is amply evident all around us. How do we connect with the universal life inside our subjective consciousness? That is a secret yet to be discovered.

So when Carol asked me why do I believe in God, it was a very large question. The answer to this may take eons, because it is a perpetual open book of discovery. We are born, live a relatively short existence, and then die out of this reality, and still we do not know the secret. Can we know it in some afterlife? That too is closed off to our consciousness, so we do not know and only guess that there is a soul's existence beyond the present reality of our being. But there is a way to connect, I think, to that greater spiritual reality that is some form of God-consciousness, what helps us connect deeper into our own inner consciousness. And that is through the emotional feeling of love, both for our fellow human beings, and all life, as well as for our own existence within it. Largely, it is a selfless love, acceptable without self imposed preconditions. Love is large, something to be aspired to and not restricted by the ego. When we see consciousness not only in ourselves but in all living things, and perhaps even down to the light-atoms of existence where even stones share in this, then we are reaching for something greater than ourselves, beyond our mere ego, into a realm of existence that defines all being, even the whole universe. This is not a anthropomorphic idea, where what I think in myself is what defines the universe, but the converse, where what is the universe is what I think in myself, potentially. To become more conscious of this, and go deeper into our feelings of love inside ourselves, is a way to connect with that greater consciousness of the universe, that which renders so much of it alive. God-consciousness may be only that, and why I believe in God, that we have the capacity to reach for that illusive love of all being, though we personally are only spectators within it. The evidence is all around us, and all we can do is peal off layer upon layer of that greater consciousness as the beauty and truths of all existence, especially living existence, that the universe manifests, both for itself and for us, as one complete Being. And we are in it.

Seen this way, God-consciousness is something evolving in our consciousness, something that exists as a universal potential which over time allows us to unlock more and more of it in ourselves, as we become more conscious human beings. This is higher than a mere awareness of self, or even the awareness of 'awareness of self', what defines human consciousness, but a reaching in our thoughts and feelings for all that exists, an evolutionary aspiring for All that Is, which exists as a potential of God-consciousness available to us. We are in it, and it 'teaches' us to become more aware of that higher existence for us. In every moment of our waking life, and perhaps when unawares, even in our dreams, we are being 'led' by mysterious forces to become more than we already are. The universe through its evolutions has represented growth of mind, and in us of consciousness, which is what defines all life capable of that evolution. But that next step requires that we actually consciously reach for it. This is not a religious idea but one totally secular, even 'atheistic' in some sense, that we are part of an evolving process which connects our inner being with all the Being of existence. Our rational minds are still ill equipped to understand this, so it falls into the irrational to find the love of life in all living things, including ourselves. But once we see this, and often it is a form of agape or epiphany, a magical transformation takes place in each one of us individually, where we suddenly appreciate all existence in ways we had never believed before. There is no restriction on this greater existence in us, because it truly is from something much greater than ourselves, and we are but mere participants in it. The freedom to reach for this is the paramount requirement of our being, that we not be restricted from this search for our greater consciousness, but be encouraged from very early in childhood to see it that way, that we are so much more than mere egos. In fact, we are spiritual beings capable of God-consciousness, each in our own way, in our own time. That is still an open book, and we write the pages in it with each individual life.


I don't know if what I said over dinner made an impression on Carol, but it made an impression on me. Why do I believe in God? I'm still not sure I really know the answer, anymore than I really knew the answer when I wrote the third part of Habeas Mentem (the Love of God) many years ago. I think it is a perpetual search, one which takes lifetimes, and even then we will find that there is always more, that the more we reach for it the more we find. For me to think of it deeply still gives a rush. The Universal-Being of God-consciousness is infinite, and that we are part of it is truly a miraculous gift. The more conscious we become, the less we will squander it.


Ivan
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Ivan/new atheism
Posted on Sunday, July 13, 2008 - 12:55 pm:   

Confusing Religion with God

New Atheism: The Church of the Non-Believers

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The New Atheism, see links inside image


quote:

Richard Dawkins, the leading light of the New Atheism movement, lives and works in a large brick house just 20 minutes away from the Shelley memorial. Dawkins, formerly a fellow at New College, is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science. He is 65 years old, and the book that made him famous, The Selfish Gene, dates from well back in the last century. The opposition it earned from rival theorizers and popularizers of Charles Darwin, such as Stephen Jay Gould, is fading into history. Gould died in 2002, and Dawkins, while acknowledging their battles, praised his influence on scientific culture. They were allies in the battle against creationism. Dawkins, however, has been far more belligerent in counterattack. His most recent book is called The God Delusion.
Dawkins' style of debate is as maddening as it is reasonable. A few months earlier, in front of an audience of graduate students from around the world, Dawkins took on a famous geneticist and a renowned neurosurgeon on the question of whether God was real. The geneticist and the neurosurgeon advanced their best theistic arguments: Human consciousness is too remarkable to have evolved; our moral sense defies the selfish imperatives of nature; the laws of science themselves display an order divine; the existence of God can never be disproved by purely empirical means.
Dawkins rejected all these claims, but the last one that science could never disprove God provoked him to sarcasm. "There's an infinite number of things that we can't disprove," he said. "You might say that because science can explain just about everything but not quite, it's wrong to say therefore we don't need God. It is also, I suppose, wrong to say we don't need the Flying Spaghetti Monster, unicorns, Thor, Wotan, Jupiter, or fairies at the bottom of the garden. There's an infinite number of things that some people at one time or another have believed in, and an infinite number of things that nobody has believed in. If there's not the slightest reason to believe in any of those things, why bother? The onus is on somebody who says, I want to believe in God, Flying Spaghetti Monster, fairies, or whatever it is. It is not up to us to disprove it." ...



For the record, I don't agree with Dawkins (see post above on Unlocking the secret of God Consciousness), but there is enough in his message to make one stop and ponder. Is religion the same as belief in God? We know one cannot disprove a negative, so Dawkins' statement ""There's an infinite number of things that we can't disprove," is correct as logic. But neither can he disprove God. There is a scientific and secular way to approach the God-consciousness without the trappings and baggage of ancient religions. The 'secret' to God is that you must want it, and choose it, of your own free will as a conscious being. That was in a nutshell the message in mine above. We have a mind, we are conscious, and it is up to us to unlock the secret.


Ivan
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Naive
Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 03:51 am:   

What we want from God

I grapple with this argument on a day-to-day basis. The logical part of my brain tells me that we live in a universe governed by rules that we have given empirical names: mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, etc. On the other hand, the universe has produced our consciousness, and the universe is infinite. This would indicate that any type of consciousness -including omniscience- is possible. Does that mean an all-powerful "creator" exists?

I suppose the real question is - do we have a right to lay claim to knowledge of the potential abilities of this creator? To cover both this and your question about religion, we must first admit that all knowledge we have now has emerged from the organization of our DNA, and its subsequent reaction to the stimulus around us. In other words our brains (and bodies) are organized a certain way, and we have built our society with ourselves in mind. The sages that claimed to know the nature of God, were either a) arrogant, b) delusional, c) liars, or d) their brains may have really acted as lenses of knowledge from a higher source. At any rate, the knowledge still passed through the filter of man to other men.

The simple answer is that God is the great unknown that the universe holds for us. Whether or not there is an agenda of God is inconsequential. Our DNA compels us to seek answers that will make our lives more comfortable, answers that will ensure our survival. We reflect what the universe wants from us when we make laws, when we continue to survive, when we improve, and when we fail in search of that improvement.

God is what we see before us, and what cannot be seen quantified or measured. God is this existence, for it is here, it can be conceived of, (may change form) but will never be obliterated. Existence is indestructible and ever happening. We can only know what we chose to discover, or what may happen to us along our journey as a species. This is what the universe has shown us, and conscious beings who cannot act in the best interest of their "design" or who cannot adapt to their surroundings, do not continue as a species. That is Gods plan.

Take human beings for example. More intelligence equals more impetus to do something, which in turn equals a potential for things both good and bad. Our intelligence gives us foresight on this matter, and we realize we must design rules or perish. We admire our system of rules - whether they came to us as parables, epics, religion, laws, science - and we teach these systems. The full body of work helps the ever-growing number of us to co-exist. We are the latest edition of change. The rules of physics and biology dictate that we are part of a cycle: in essence we live on as contributors to the system, contributors to a species-wide consciousness even after we are gone. Part of that body of consciousness has been the creation of the concept of God. I say concept because we have built God into what we wanted or needed.

Indeed, belief in God(s) had always been the backbone that held societies together. That is what humanity needed to get itself through the darkness that was our earlier history. We didnt have a body of knowledge to lean on. Now we have it, and God has been diminished. Still, another great unknown exists - what will happen to our precious individual consciousness at the moment of our demise? And again, God can be found standing at the doorway of that transitional event. Shakespeare said it best - death is the undiscovered country that puzzles the will. Our programmed desire to survive, makes us sorely wish for an afterlife guided by a supreme being. This is such a juvenile approach to understanding God. The wonder of it all is that we are here, now, conscious of its magnificence. Just see your part in it all. Make something of your part in it all, and you will truly know God.


Naive


P.S. Religion is not God. Religion is just a system designed by man to ease our lack of knowledge of the unknown, and to help govern our individual and social behavior. Placing God in religion just lends the system legitimacy and allows men empowerment over other men (even from beyond the grave). The fact that the system has been an integral part of our previous survival, however, does indicate to me that our minds recognized something we needed when we didn't have it . . . and that in itself is rather divine!
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Ivan/what drives us
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2008 - 03:07 pm:   

How God-conscious are we, really?

One billionth of one degree of God-consciousness is how I imagine it: that God is in fulness 360 degrees of Universal-consciousness, while we humans made "in the image of God" only possess one tiniest portion of that, and one billionth degree may even be too generous, some of us for more or less.

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Detail of Sistine Chapel (linked) fresco by Michelangelo


As Naive wrote Jan. 9, 2007, "To Bring Fulfillment to Consciousness"':

quote:

To me the concept of fulfillment is indeed subjective. Sometimes I believe a more profound way of looking at humanity is its desire to bring fulfillment to our collective consciousness. Can we accomplish this without sacrificing our individual fulfillment? How can we reconcile both?...



This dovetails into his later, What do we want from God? (above), where he says:

quote:

I grapple with this argument on a day-to-day basis. The logical part of my brain tells me that we live in a universe governed by rules that we have given empirical names: mathematics, chemistry, biology, physics, etc. On the other hand, the universe has produced our consciousness, and the universe is infinite. This would indicate that any type of consciousness -including omniscience- is possible. Does that mean an all-powerful "creator" exists? ...



Does the "creator" exist for us in our consciousness? Perhaps only at the level of "principles" where we can identify truth from falsehood. In every conscious being there is a little "true false" meter (a form of dualism in ourselves) that is constantly on and off gauging every moment, as to whether it is true or false. This same principle applies to our "moral dualism" mentioned earlier, where 'good bad' is constantly on and off in our evaluation of each events with which we personally come in contact in our daily life, or on a larger scale in the principles that guide our existence throughout our lifetime. But if our God-consciousness is so very limited, measured perhaps in the billionth of a degree from its full potential (of which even a circle represents only a minor flat dimension of what is truly the universal infinity), then how can we ever conclude that what we measure in God, or within the principles operable in our universe, is really what is true in God? Our 'true false' meter, though we imagine ourselves as conscious beings, may still be too primitive to ever know. And all of our educational achievements, including our basis for moral truths, which includes religious ideas of morality, may still be too inferior to ever possess the validity of being something anyone may impose on another. We simply do not yet know enough, and at this stage of human evolution may not be in a position to know enough (of the 'unknowable essence of God) to ever gauge fully what is right from wrong, or true from false, no matter how consciously active we are with our personal little 'true false' meter at work. We simply cannot know what "God wants from us", really. Not only for ourselves, but certainly not for anyone else, without being unbelievably arrogant in thinking we are conscious enough to dictate to others.

But we can try at some level of our development, such as at a global level of human collective consciousness, to enact what it is we believe, even if faulty. Therefore, in Naive's statement:

quote:

Thus we have what we have. Thus the fulfillment of consciousness is a subjective process directly correlated with the level of education, knowledge, and enlightenment of the individual. This should be the real crusade. This is where the real change must occur . . . worldwide. Equal and advanced global education will lead to human improvement and a more advanced fulfillment of collective and individual consciousness.


This is the best we can hope for, at this time, to improve our human condition: via enlightened agreements and social principles (such as our secular Constitutional governance) that yield desirable results, of better economic and social advancements and opportunities, of equality and personal freedoms to seek those opportunities; and of projections of soul in the arts, our music and literature, all our artistic treasures; and most important of all, in how we achieve a worldly peaceful society. These human achievements are all indicative in our collective consciousness of Who we are as a world. Education is key, but most important of all is that little 'true false' meter in our heads that connects us, however imperfectly, to that much vaster Universal-consciousness, in our search for the Truth. Stay close to the truth, and you are hugging life on the edge of what is knowable for us. But if we are hemmed in socially, and educationally, in our minds and bodies within parameters set for us by some dogma of religion, or secular dogmas that violate our natural human rights, or violence that prevents full human expression, that squelch joy in our lives, or laughter, or art, then we are being driven away from "what God wants of us," really. In fact, such coercion against the human soul is a vast crime against humanity.

It is not up to some world government, or religious world order (whose government is ideally benevolent or benign), to dictate to us what it is we are to believe, but only to allow us in principle to find out for us what is that Truth. This is what we live for, what our conscious mind demands, and it is the prime reason why as human beings with a mind we must have that freedom. The freedom we demand is to bring about God-consciousness in us, and by collective extension into our world. We can believe what we believe, as per our personal 'truth meter', but in the end, it is not for any organized body, religion or otherwise, to stop us from believing as we will. Every human being of the planet has the right to seek that God-consciousness as Truth, equally for all humanity, and that is a freedom we can live for, and die for if we must. Though we are only barely aware of it, this is why Freedom is so important in our God-consciousness, for this is what drives us.


Ivan
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Naive
Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 12:31 pm:   

Human Programming

It is unfortunate that many people are oblivious to what drives them. No one is teaching them to pay attention to the power of history, culture, etc. on their individual behavior. Humanity becomes limited, because very few of us can even think outside of our religious-historical-cultural box. Social ostracization is too overwhelming I suppose.

Perhaps, however, even this is a survival mechanism. Are we only supposed to have so many unique individuals at this moment in our history? How drastically would our world change if everyone was enlightened? Would it bring about salvation or destruction? I wonder.


Naive
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Ivan/polyandry et al
Posted on Saturday, December 06, 2008 - 12:50 pm:   

Polyandry and Polygamy, are they fair?

1.jpg (interactive- BBC)
Polygamy no fun, admits Ethiopian, Ayattu Nure


quote:

He says that he tries to share his time evenly between his wives and children, adding that although quarrels and squabbles are common, they try to solve their problems amicably.



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Nepal's 'polyandry' custom, family sons marry a sole woman


quote:

They have three children between them. As in most polyandrous households, although they know who belongs to which father, the distinction matters little.
Pema Tsering, the younger husband, says polyandry gives natural population control to this community, who are Buddhists.
He says that in the neighbouring Hindu culture, "there's only one husband - if he dies, no one cares about the wife and it's difficult for the children as well".



The trouble with polyandry and polygamy, for other than personal reasons of desiring multiple partners, it is that once it is institutionalized into social law the fundamental ideal of human equality is violated. From a religious perspective there may be scriptural sanctions against it. In Christianity, for example, the idea of "unity in marriage" demands allegiance of one man to one woman, if they are to enjoy each other in conjugal love equally. In the Muslims world, the idea of a man having up to four wives is written into their scriptural texts; that "restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical", though not all predominantly Islamic states accept this practice. Certainly neither religion, nor Hinduism, accept polyandry, which is explicitly prohibited in Islam and not even considered in Christianity. However, it is not the moral nor religious issues that make these practices problematic, but the basic issue of human beings, unlike the practice of polygyny which allows for multiple sexual partners (more often associated with the animal world), where in such a non-monogomous relationship one party or the other will be reduced to a less than equal relationship to the other. Unequality between mature and conscious human beings reduces down to a form of slavery, where one party has more rights than the other; or worse, where one 'owns' the other.

Human beings are not possessions like land or cattle, or other trappings of wealth, but thinking and feeling live entities whose personal self worth is valued. In a non-equal relationship that is encoded into a permanent institution, unlike a temporary fling, either the woman or man will be permanently treated with a self inferiority, which will injure them psychologically over time. This makes one party a 'possession' (like in Mohammad's "what the right hand possesses" -Surah 33:52- ie., slave girls), so their equal rights become violated by the other. But this works the other way too, where the obligations to him, or her, who 'owns' the other are multiplied, as illustrated by Ayattu Nure in the above article. The idea that such a multiple-spousal relationship can be 'fair' is thrown awry, since neither party will feel the joy of a conjugal love equally. One will feel more powerful over the other, and while the lesser may take temporary comfort for being 'taken care of' by the more powerful, they will over time also feel the burden of being subservient to the other's wishes and whims, or abuse. Once a non-equal relationship is codified, it becomes difficult if not impossible for either human beings to treat each other with equal mutual respect. And that leads to unfair practices of ownership of other human beings, a kind of quasi-slavery.

It is inevitable that human beings treated unfairly will feel unhappiness, because we are not possessions. How equal would a wife feel in this situation, Nigerian preacher with 86 wives, for example? (Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you.. Surah 4:24) Is she equal to her husband? Were the condition reversed, where the preacher be one of 86 husbands, would this be more amenable to him? Hardly! Then why would it be fair to have 'slave girls' as household 'captives', any more than having male captives of a household as anything other than slavery? We as conscious and live human beings can never be possessions. We are not primitive people, though various forms of polygamy were practiced in ancient times, even in Judaism. Equality, in the modern sense of human rights and freedoms, is the natural state of human kind risen above the the animal world. This is true irrespective of any religious or socially acceptable norms.

Love is to be shared only on an equal basis, especially in the institution of marriage. Equality means neither party may feel themselves superior, or inferior, to the other. Of course human inequality exists on a temporary basis, and such conditions may be fluid, but once they are institutionalized into permanence, a deep human unhappiness must ensue, though we may not be aware of it at the time. It gets worse if this polygamous institution regresses to sex attacks on girls, since now real abuse dominates the male to female relationships, where men are more powerful physically than women. This abuse transcends physical damage, but enters the domain of psychological damage, as escapees from polygamous abusive relationships confess when free.

quote:

Her husband sexually assaulted her, and when he was angry, he would beat her while other women held her infant, she told a family violence shelter in a series of secret calls that triggered an investigation of the polygamist sect here.


Where is the love under such unequal conditions? Once a human being is forced into subservience, such as happens of necessity under polygamous or polyandrous marriages, the damage follows, of necessity. Then love is lost, and the human condition of fair and equal relationship is permanently damaged.

There can never be any justification for human beings to treat the other as a lesser being without violating the prime directive, that we "love one another", as a basic fundamental right of human happiness. Such a happiness, regardless of moral and religious values, can only be ensured by having human beings as equal partners in love and all personal relationships, which is what human freedom demands. All else is ancient superstition at best, or slavery at worst, neither of which is supportable in a modern world of a free humanity that must learn to live together in peace. Only that will lead us to a true God-consciousness, not religiously sanctified, or otherwise socially acceptable, inequality between human beings.

Ivan

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