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Spirituality & Happiness
Posted: 26 May 2009 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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unsmoked - 25 May 2009 03:08 PM
burt - 25 May 2009 01:37 PM


It depends on what the meaning of is is…  wink

According to Hoyle, it’s ‘the scenery of the fundamental ground.’  (stop thinking about it and it’s still there).

However, I know some Christians who can foil Hoyle.  Even when they stop thinking about God, he’s still there . . . at least, he’s still there when they start thinking about him again . . . no, wait . . .

A colleague of mine once got a letter from a student, a devout Christian, who refused to answer homework questions that involved probabilities for dice or cards because gambling was ungodly.  The ghost of Hoyle rose up and smote her grade-wise and there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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Posted: 26 May 2009 08:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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isocratic infidel - 26 May 2009 05:59 AM

Aww fellas, you’re so cute, wading and wallowing in your Transcendentalism, but I think you’re both wading too deeply.

burt,  I think (but I could be wrong) that you wade so, because of your love of mathematics and its conceptual awareness of the positive and negative that flow from zero, and unsmoked, because of your love of the poetic imaginative flow that came from the ancients and their concepts of the transmigration of the “soul.”

From a psychological—or bio-electrochemical—perspective, these are both useful delusions but delusions nonetheless. Deep, Atlantically deep down, I hope your delusions are illusions that contain an element of the philosophically and ever elusive, capital ‘T’ truth… however, I don’t think any of these concepts exist except as concepts, and are in fact, delusional illusions concocted and passed on and either accepted or rejected by individual human brains.

At this juncture of my personal existence I remain a five-sensist, a realist,  an existentialist with optimistic tendencies that can no longer wish that any of the woo is true. I wish… I wish… I wish…

Eddie Veddar says it best:

I wish I was a neutron bomb, for once I could go off
I wish I was a sacrifice but somehow still lived on
I wish I was a sentimental ornament you hung on
The christmas tree, I wish I was the star that went on top
I wish I was the evidence, I wish I was the grounds
For 50 million hands upraised and open toward the sky

I wish I was a sailor with someone who waited for me
I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me
I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
I wish I was the full moon shining off a camaros hood

I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
I wish I was the verb to trust and never let you down

IF there is such a thing as a transmigration of the souls and reincarnation, Salt Creek is the reincarnation of Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote of the hopelessness or hope. And I am the reincarnations of an unknown victim of the plague of Athens, an unknown peasant impaled by Vladislav Dracula, a former court jester, Thomas Paine and Norma J….

Naaaahhhh!

Carry on with your zen-shmen, and convince thy selves of its “enlightened” “spiritual” and “happy” import.  cheese

Infidel!!!   

What’s the sensation of the beauty of a rose?
Does it exist anywhere, outside of your nose?
A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose,
You know the drill and that’s how it goes.

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Posted: 26 May 2009 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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I am imagining a very posh and expensive psychiatry office   in Beverly hills.  It is a partnership - INFIDEL & CREEK PhD, PGA, PBC.  Tom Cruise and John Travolta are both known to be patients.  The paparazi maintain a vigil in parked cars across the street from the entrance.

In the inner sanctum there are two expensive, parallel leather couches.  I am on one, Burt is on the other.  We both have our hands folded on our chest, not too unlike the deceased in an undertaker’s parlor.  Both doctors are in attendance, each sitting in an AMAZING AERON CHAIR, Dr. Isocratic with pen and spiral notebook, and Dr. Creek with a golfball in each hand, passing them between his fingers as a magician does with coins.

I have just explained that my ancestors arose from rocks and that in the brief span of 3.5 billion years I have ended up on this couch claiming to be the consciousness of rocks, that rocks are therefore aware of themselves, and that they can be happy if they don’t take themselves too seriously or want too much out of life.

Dr. Isocratic:  (suddenly spinning in her chair and coming to an ubrupt halt)  Naaaaahhhh!

Dr. Creek:  (juggling the golf balls)  Numbskull!

Burt looks at his watch and begins to sing Nights in White Satin never reaching the end, etc. 

A cell phone rings, sounding like a robin singing.

Dr. Creek:  Yes?  Travolta?  Tell him to have a seat.  No.  He’s singing Nights in White Satin.  No.  I’m not sure how many verses it has.  What’s wrong with him?  Dammit!  I’ll be right out.  Burt, an emergency.  Dr. Infidel is listening.  You are definitely not going to Hollywood.

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 26 May 2009 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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I am still trying to figure out what is..is and what the difference is between ought and is and how and why.

Can you get why from how and is Hume really Hume and if not how is he not and why?

Shit I’m confused.

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‘Every reflecting mind must acknowledge that there is no proof of the existence of a Deity’

‘If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature destroys them’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Posted: 27 May 2009 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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unsmoked - 26 May 2009 03:22 PM

I am imagining a very posh and expensive psychiatry office   in Beverly hills.  It is a partnership - INFIDEL & CREEK PhD, PGA, PBC.  Tom Cruise and John Travolta are both known to be patients.  The paparazi maintain a vigil in parked cars across the street from the entrance.

In the inner sanctum there are two expensive, parallel leather couches.  I am on one, Burt is on the other.  We both have our hands folded on our chest, not too unlike the deceased in an undertaker’s parlor.  Both doctors are in attendance, each sitting in an AMAZING AERON CHAIR, Dr. Isocratic with pen and spiral notebook, and Dr. Creek with a golfball in each hand, passing them between his fingers as a magician does with coins.

I have just explained that my ancestors arose from rocks and that in the brief span of 3.5 billion years I have ended up on this couch claiming to be the consciousness of rocks, that rocks are therefore aware of themselves, and that they can be happy if they don’t take themselves too seriously or want too much out of life.

Dr. Isocratic:  (suddenly spinning in her chair and coming to an ubrupt halt)  Naaaaahhhh!

Dr. Creek:  (juggling the golf balls)  Numbskull!

Burt looks at his watch and begins to sing Nights in White Satin never reaching the end, etc. 

A cell phone rings, sounding like a robin singing.

Dr. Creek:  Yes?  Travolta?  Tell him to have a seat.  No.  He’s singing Nights in White Satin.  No.  I’m not sure how many verses it has.  What’s wrong with him?  Dammit!  I’ll be right out.  Burt, an emergency.  Dr. Infidel is listening.  You are definitely not going to Hollywood.

LOL Good one unsmoked. Two thumbs up!
Ouch!  shock
What was that?
I just poked one of my thumbs on burt’s roses.
And that’s Mrs. Ms. Doctor Infidel del Isocraticus. Oh, and I prefer jaundiced legal pads to spiral notebooks. Perhaps a raven instead of a robin… Please make appropriate edits to the script.  wink

Hope to see you guys on Sam’s…. uh-hmm,  other side.  cheese

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“Proving the efficacy of a methodology without defining the word ‘efficacy’ can come back to bite you in the assertion.”—Salt Creek

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Posted: 08 June 2009 02:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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Salt Creek - 26 April 2009 08:20 PM

Does (real) spirituality ever make anyone unhappy? Would anyone admit to spirituality that made them “unhappy”?

Why do we need both terms, “spirituality” and “happiness”? Who judges that some kinds of happiness make someone “unspiritual”?

You can be happy when you don’t realise you’re in fact wasting your life. Once you become spiritual, there’s hardly turning back from the position. Being spiritual (for me ) is being thoughtful about how you live. Once you stop and think “why am I doing what I’m doing ?” it’s hard to forget it. So spirituality can make you sad, simultaneously that can be an impulse to change your life in order to become really happy

[ Edited: 08 June 2009 02:36 AM by Non-believer]
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When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Posted: 09 June 2009 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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Non-believer - 08 June 2009 06:33 AM
Salt Creek - 26 April 2009 08:20 PM

Does (real) spirituality ever make anyone unhappy? Would anyone admit to spirituality that made them “unhappy”?

Why do we need both terms, “spirituality” and “happiness”? Who judges that some kinds of happiness make someone “unspiritual”?

You can be happy when you don’t realise you’re in fact wasting your life. Once you become spiritual, there’s hardly turning back from the position. Being spiritual (for me ) is being thoughtful about how you live. Once you stop and think “why am I doing what I’m doing ?” it’s hard to forget it. So spirituality can make you sad, simultaneously that can be an impulse to change your life in order to become really happy

People confuse ‘pleasure’ with ‘happiness’.  Over-eating, or eating junk food might be pleasurable, like other forms of self-destructive behavior.  Pleasure often leads to misery. Sometimes the two are simultaneous as a person can be aware of the grievous after-effects even as he indulges.  (I know a lady who groans as she eats things that are bad for her).

Pleasure is habit-forming, and religions step in with formulas for breaking habits.  “Pray.  Go to church.  Ask Jesus to help you.  Read the Bible.  Do you want to go to hell?  Confess.  Ask for forgiveness.  You must be born again.”

A Zen master commented, “There is no cure for bad habits.  They are only not done.”

[ Edited: 26 June 2009 07:25 PM by unsmoked]
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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 27 June 2009 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]  
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Elise - 06 June 2008 11:22 PM

What is Spirituality & How do we become Happy?

I was interested to read Harris’ ideas about spirituality and happiness in the End of Faith. However, I think there is more to be said. While having experiences which divest one of the ‘self’ and take one to different levels of consciousness/unconsciousness is well and good, I think there are more important things (for me, at least).

For example, I concieve of spirituality as a group of emotional and intellectual needs that people have. They include the need to find meaning in life, to develop one’s ethical self, to discover sources of wonder and awe, and to discover activities that one loves…

These are some important sources of my own happiness:

My discovery of philosophy has awoken the love of learning that I previously thought dead, and provided me with a quest of intellectual and ethical self-improvement.

The quest to become a more compassionate, more reasonable and thus more ethical person through study, reflection and practice is a source of pride and happiness to me. The possibility of making the world a better place for others to live in is daunting task (sometimes I feel despair and powerlessness), but it also fills me with inspiration, excitement and a sense of great potential.

Meanwhile, activities such as reading, socialising and painting seem to provide much of my happiness and contentment.

I don’t understand why losing the self through drugs or meditation is so significant. I hope that others on this forum can either explain to me why they think losing the self is especially important for happiness, or alternatively confirm that they, like me, are more interested in sources of happines such as I have described.

In his LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION Sam Harris writes:

“Everything about human experience suggests that love is more conducive to happiness than hate is.  This is an objective claim about the human mind, about the dynamics of social relations, and about the moral order of our world.  It is clearly possible to say that someone like Hitler was wrong in moral terms without reference to scripture.

“While feeling love for others is surely one of the greatest sources of our own happiness, it entails a very deep concern for the happiness and suffering of those we love.  Our own search for happiness, therefore, provides a rationale for self-sacrifice and self-denial.  There is no question that there are times when making enormous sacrifices for the good of others is essential for one’s own deeper well-being.  Nothing has to be believed on insufficient evidence for people to form bonds of this sort.  At various points in the Gospels, Jesus clearly tells us that love can transform human life.  We need not believe that he was born of a virgin or will be returning to earth as a superhero to take these teachings to heart.”

Sam Harris writing in ‘Letter to a Christian Nation’ page 24

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“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

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Posted: 27 June 2009 07:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]  
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unsmoked - 27 June 2009 04:29 PM

At various points in the Gospels, Jesus clearly tells us that love can transform human life.

‘Transform’ has a neutral meaning (neither good nor bad), therefore used as it is in the above quote the sentence has no meaning.  However, instead of playing word games, in context of Jesus’s message of love, the suggestion is love causes good transformations.  This is debatable in the context of the common murder/suicides that happen when one party stops loving the other.

Have you ever met someone who finds happiness in hate?  Or finds happiness in dissatisfaction?  I’m partial to schadenfreude.

Happiness and love are good achievements, but problems come from the strength of desire to achieve and retain love and happiness.

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“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

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Posted: 27 June 2009 11:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]  
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“We cannot really give love in the real sense of love if we are not complete human beings, if we are human beings in process.  What we are giving is not real love.  For example, take children.  They are obviously human beings, very complete, but they are in the process of growing up.  Then their love is not really for giving something; on the contrary, it is for taking something.  And that’s normal.  So, you know, when I see people speaking about love, love, love, love, love, love, I see children wanting and I say, ‘This egg needs a little bit of salt.’”  Interviews With Oscar Ichazo, p.122

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Posted: 28 June 2009 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]  
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The Universal Tautology Generator - 28 June 2009 03:06 AM

“We cannot really give love in the real sense of love if we are not complete human beings, if we are human beings in process.”

The point that the UTG is trying to make is that if maximizing happiness is your objective, don’t let yourself be overly-influenced by the blather of so-called sages who are only too happy to tell you (for a fee, of course) what you must do to be spiritually-developed.

Anyway, how would you ever know if you’d really succeeded in your optimization? You’ll always be asking yourself if you could have done better, something that will, if you let it, influence your general level of happiness.

In fact, the blathering of so-called sages largely functions to make people think they could be happier, paradoxically. The financial success attached to being a well-known so-called sage is one way toward happiness. Use your success wisely, and be happy.

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Posted: 06 August 2010 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]  
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Those horribly tempting possibility to criticize, blame or mockery in order to feel good about ourselves. It feels good on some point yet we are still focusing on something bad. This is not the way to happiness and spiritual success.

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