What is Spiritual and Why it’s Not

How humans assign greater importance to things they don’t know

Why do humans treat things they can’t see with more reverence than things they can? Spirituality is the act of making holy the voids in human perception through imagination.

Faith is the act of assigning honor to things you wish were real as if believing them actually meant something. Unsatisfied with Providence and what minimums it provides, we fail to live in the moment through supplemental prayer, always looking ahead and hoping because we have settled for mediocrity—belief someone or something else can make it better. Proving really, that humans can see a much better solution than the framework “god” has provided his pinnacle of creation through religion.

After careful scrutiny we find anything that persuades belief before thinking, is doctrinally sound. Anything doctrinally sound will never be settled without faith.

Who would do that but a manipulative genius who preyed on the weaknesses of human psychology? Religion is basically reverse psychology for grownups, inflicted on our youth to prevent them from becoming grownups—to lead a dependent life.

There is a difference however, between the regular, know-nothing Christian who is trying to make his way through life with tools that have been forced upon him by persuasion and fear, and the apologist who is an apologist because he knows better, but won’t face the failures of religion with integrity.

There is one good reason no man has ever seen god. Anyone want to take a shot at why?

Indian painted rocks, Spokane WA 7/20/19

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

68 thoughts on “What is Spiritual and Why it’s Not”

  1. “For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this, and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven; do not imagine that they are Christians”- Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 80

    I made comments and notes on parts of this early apologetic work written by Justin. This example of early Christian belief is shocking to Christians today, and later Christians in general. If someone believes that when they die, they will go to heaven, they are not a Christian according to Justin.

    The original Christian idea of “the Kingdom” had nothing to do with going to some “spiritual” or ethereal realm, or merging with God, or having a clear view of the divine appearance, or other later Christian ideas of “heaven”. What was taught was that there would be an apocalyptic event. Jesus would then come back and resurrect all the Christian believers from their graves. The non-Christians, living and resurrected, would be tossed into a big fire(either to be tormented or just to perish forever). The Christian believers would remain and inherit the Earth. “Heaven” was to be in THIS WORLD and in a perfected physical body. The mechanics of resurrection and the “resurrection body” were written about quite a bit by early Christians. Justin himself wrote about whether or not the resurrection bodies would need to use the bathroom and if people could still have sex or not. Augustine also worried about genital functions with the resurrection bodies. There is another example(I am trying to remember which Christian cleric wrote it) that mentions that the resurrection body will not be prone to things like arthritis.

    In my opinion, a sect very close to early Christian ideas that is around now is the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have this basic point, along with some others, in common with early Christianity. If you take into account their repeatedly failed end of the world predictions, this just makes the Jehovah’s Witnesses even closer to early Christianity.

    “The Lord used to teach about those times and say: “The days will come when vines will grow, each having ten thousand shoots, and on each shoot ten thousand branches, and on each branch ten thousand twigs, and on each twig ten thousand clusters, and in each cluster ten thousand grapes, and each grape when crushed will yield twenty-five measures of wine. And when one of the saints takes hold of a cluster, another cluster will cry out, “I am better, take me, bless the Lord through me.” Similarly a grain of wheat will produce ten thousand heads, and every head will have ten thousand grains, and every grain ten pounds of fine flour, white and clean. And the other fruits, seeds, and grass will produce in similar proportions, and all the animals feeding on these fruits produced by the soil will in turn become peaceful and harmonious toward one another, and fully subject to humankind.… These things are believable to those who believe.” And when Judas the traitor did not believe and asked, “How, then, will such growth be accomplished by the Lord?”, the Lord said, “Those who live until those times will see.”- A quotation of early church leader Papias, from Eusebius of Caesarea(Constantine’s right hand bishop)

    Eusebius actually insults Papias(who lived centuries before him) in his writing about Papias. He said that Papias was overly literal and silly, to make it short. This passage demonstrates the idea clearly, the Christian “heaven” was to be in this world, only a perfected version of it reserved for Christian believers. An idea matching this passage almost one for one can also be found in the Jewish Talmud, showing their common root. This is just a passage about how food will be plentiful, life will be easy, and there will be no untamed wilderness, all will be subject to man

    The Book of Revelation’s giant and bejeweled cube city of New Jerusalem is also to come down to earth for the believers to reside in, while the unbelievers are to be left outside of its walls. The streets of gold and all the other fancy things you have heard of, they were not figurative or up in heaven, the early Christians expected to receive them in this world.

    Here is a question. Do you consider these concepts “spiritual” at all? I have described these beliefs step by step without the overtly Christian labels, and Christians dismissed them. They did not recognize these things as Christian beliefs. Believe in a particular guy, and when you die, someday he will resurrect you from your grave along with his other followers with super bodies that don’t defecate or desire sex. The rest of humanity will be destroyed, and the believers will rule the world in their perfected bodies. Trees will grow fruit in huge amounts, grapes will produce win on their own, grain will so itself, there will be no sea or mountains, and every believer will live in a mansion made of gold. It sounds stranger when it is put that way. Most would dismiss it as some bizarre new religion.

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    1. I would say this is close to a Mormon heaven where everything is physical and even god has a body of flesh and bone. Zion will be built upon the American continent (new Jerusalem) and Christ in his physically resurrected body will rule in righteousness. Your description sounds religious, but no, not spiritual. Holy and spiritual wound have to be intertwined, but physical. Why do you ask?

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      1. Mormons also have some remnants of earlier Christian ideas intertwined with a new focus on America. Even the idea of further prophets was not new, the early Christian sects had prophets and new prophecies. Visionaries and prophets have been clamped down on by the big Churches(think Catholic, Orthodox, and mainline Protestant) for centuries to prevent constant fragmentation.

        I asked because Christians have this arrogant idea that they are uniquely “spiritual” as a religious group. Many Christians have an idea of “heaven” as some spiritual realm off in another dimension, different from or even opposed to the material world. I thought you had seen this tendency before, but if you were a Mormon you would be more familiar with the older Christian idea of a physical heaven.

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        1. I was raised to believe that Mormons were super unique and got all the fine points to the early church back. I lived with some SDAs for four months on a building project about 3 years ago. I would have sworn they were Mormons by the language, prayers they used, mannerisms, etc. Really similar in the fact they both claim ultimately to be the one truth restored too. Super nice, but opinionated. God loves you, I love you, you’re going to burn in Hell for eternity. Love, dad

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    2. K
      Thank you for offering some insights from early Christians. I do find their views interesting and often a better source for understanding what is meant in scripture as they may have had contact with earlier Christians.

      Just a few other points about the afterlife.

      In first Corinthians 15 Paul does clearly seem to say there will be a bodily resurrection as well but he explains that our bodies will be unlike our earthly flesh:
      “The Resurrection Body
      35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

      42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

      If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we[g] bear the image of the heavenly man.

      50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]

      55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
      Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]

      56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

      58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

      Moreover the spiritual sense of heaven I think comes from Christ telling the repentent person who was crucified with him that he will be in heaven with him today. Was his body raised? Also this seems to suggest paradise is not on earth.

      Luke 23:40-43

      “But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

      42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. d ”

      43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

      As to the whole sexual matter Jesus responded to the saducees that in heaven we are given in marriage but rather like the angels. Matthew 22:23-33

      Bottom line is we really don’t know very much about what will happen after death or how it works. But it is interesting to read what early Christians taught and see how it may work with scripture.

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      1. Bottom line is we really don’t know very much about what will happen after death or how it works.

        Yet thousands and thousands are certain they have the answer all wrapped up in a neat and tidy box called Christianity. SMH

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        1. I agree that it would be presumptuous to claim to know what happens after death.

          I wouldn’t say Christianity is the box that claims to hold the answer, as there is disagreement among Christians and atheists and non christian religious people.
          People from all these groups tend to assert what happens after we die.

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  2. …no man has ever seen god.

    For myself, after almost 60-years of life, that is true. It is still true today. However, there is a very, VERY peculiar outrageous statistical probability of the most unlikely, most extraordinary odds of an occurrence happening in life, it BLOWS mathematical probabilities and the human mind away! Case and point… 🙂

    In one of my all-time favorite Oscar-winning films, Lt. John J. Dunbar is disillusioned with the fighting and American Civil War. He’s deeply afraid of losing a leg, arm, or being severely disfigured by the sheer brutality of human carnage on industrial scales that post-war life is more unbearable! So he decides to just end it all, stop the possibility of living a more horrible existence…

    As it turns out, by his actions of sublime courage and turning that stalemate, his superiors and Union Army award him ANY transfer (out of the conflict) he chooses. He chose the far Western frontier and a life of quietness, beauty, and peace, then writes:

    The strangeness of this life cannot be measured: in trying to produce my own death, I was elevated to the status of a living hero. — Lt. John Dunbar, Dances With Wolves, Orion Pictures 1990.

    How does a human understand and explain surviving those kind of odds? Most would rather be lazy and give credit to a God known spiritually. Others… not so much. 😛

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        1. “The white men who wore this came around the time of my grandfather’s grandfather. Eventually we drove them out. Then the Mexicans came. But they do not come here anymore. In my own time, the Texans. They have been like all the others. They take without asking. But I think you are right. I think they will keep coming. When I think of that, I look at this helmet. I don’t know if we are ready for these people.” And no they weren’t. Christianized they are a speck of their formal selves.

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          1. Great scene, great quote Jim! And if you consider the Native American indigenous peoples of the North, Central, and South Americas and where they are today or what they’ve all come thru the last centuries — economically and culturally — how much better off are they from their treatment by Euro-Americans and their Christological religion?

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            1. To live among the indigenous of Panama is a real treat. Tenacious, creative, durable, and crafty. Would have been interesting to see them before the Spaniards made them Catholic and robbed the entire country of its wealth.

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            2. And care to take a guess how many times a year U.S. churches (of most any denomination!) and their Missions Departments travel abroad — typically to uneducated economically challenged or impoverished nations — to “share the Good News of the Gospel and Christ”? And care to guess just how very well funded, every single year, these trips/tours are to go and go and go, and change those peoples/cultures into Euro-American Christian lifestyles? Not their’s or their heritage, but strictly white-man Christian?

              Every wonder WHY they don’t do missions trips to higher educated nations? Or how about to radical Islam nations? Why do they always seem to go to those countries where quality education has lacked for decades and centuries!? 🤔😆

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            3. From: Amazon Outreach
NOT SO FUN FACTS ABOUT THE AMAZON
—There are still 30,000 villages along the Amazon River who are unreached for the Gospel of Jesus Christ
—The great majority of the population along the Amazon – River basin do not have access to clean water
—Diseases from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war
—90% of the 30,000 deaths around the world that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are of children under five years of age
—Many villagers call themselves the “Forgotten People”
Do we show compassion by helping, or do we show compassion by destroying one more way of life to join the monochrome world of abrahamic submission?
Can we help them without destroying what little variety is left in the world?
This introduction from Amazon Outreach is clear what the motive is—the first paragraph says it all. Has anybody learned anything at all? Can there be one civilization left alone?


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            4. BOOM!!! And to no surprise having purified drinking water — whether done by Nature or by humans — does NOT require any sort of Evangelizing, but simple science and collaborative will of compassionate people. That’s it!

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            5. They did try to ‘evangelize Sweden with their Capenray youth organization but I think that apart from being another capitalist scam it was/is more of a dating game with some good skiing on the side but hey as long as rich Christian kiddies are screwing other RCK’ and they come home on the way to the altar it’s all good…

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            6. Ah, a very intriguing point Sha’Tara. Is not Sweden mostly Lutheran Christian or has been since at least the 16th-century and was Catholic since the 11th or 12th-century!? Right? So…umm…

              How do Christians evangelize other Christians!!!??? 🤔🥴😂

              Are they supposed to become “better” Christians, or Hey, I’m a Christian of the 7th-level, or with a Brown-belt about to become a Black-belt! Then start your own karate-Christ monastery? Is their God really so BENT on who is an okay Chrizen, an accomplished Chrizen, a Magna Cum Loudly Chrizen 😈 and Super-supreme Chrizen with all fixings, spices, and venom!? Hmmmmm… things that make you go, HMMMMM! 😉

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            7. I’ve been in, and on,both sides. The Fundies do not believe that Catholics, Church of England, Lutherans and, well, any Christian not of the evangelical/fundamentalist variety is ‘saved’ and so needs re-saving. Non-fundies believe ‘we are saved by grace through faith, not works’ and usually despise any ‘fake’ Christian denomination that adds rituals and sacraments into the bargain, that being considered heresy or ‘works’ according to the bandiers of the “four spiritual laws.” Is everybody confused yet? Don’t ask me who “Grace” is. All I know is she is “amazing” and quite the adept at saving souls. By the way I misspelled that Christian youth brothel thing, it’s Capernwray…

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            8. May I be the Christian-Devil’s advocate, please, please, PRETTY PLEASE!? 😈 Well, I’m going to be anyway cuz that’s what I thrive in when it comes to ancient religions of the world and their “holy scriptures”!!! Call me a pot-stirrer. Hehehehe

              Depending on whose exegesis and hermeneutics one subscribes to as “inerrant Scriptural truth/interpretation,” in both Romans 8 and later in Romans 9:10-13, Saul of Tarsus is giving his exposition of the doctrine of God-only election/selection.

              In the ancient world, it was customary for the firstborn son to receive the inheritance or the patriarchal blessing. However, in the case of these twins, God reversed the process and gave the blessing not to the elder but to the younger. The point that the Apostle labors here is that God not only makes this decision prior to the twins’ births, He does it without a view to anything they would do, either good or evil, so that the purposes of God might stand. Therefore, our salvation does not rest on us; it rests solely on the gracious, sovereign decision of God. — R.C. Sproul

              So, by these perfect, infallible hermeneutics of Scripture, as a certain Pastor Mel would claim, God will save whomever He chooses whether they come to “faith” (or better Christendom) or not. HAH! Saul repeats the prophet Moses:

              For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion! — Romans 9:15

              In other words, EVERYTHING for eternal salvation relies strictly and ONLY on God’s pleasure or disappointment and NOTHING on what human-kind could ever do. According to St. Paul it doesn’t matter what we say or do for much of our miserable life on this Satan-infested world!!! Hahahahaha! 😈🤣

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            9. I’ve made sure that God won’t save me – he knows damn well he’d be having another rebellion on his hands and with all the shit you atheists are throwing about he probably wouldn’t survive it. If it comes to that, I’ll put Jim in charge of heaven and you can have hell, prof. You can be Devil’s advocate to your heart’s content…

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  3. It’s “dangerous” to take concepts out of context and lump them together with one that is obviously false. Religion is a control system that steals from life, from spirit, from mind, all invisible concepts that any aware individual knows exist. Once one knows about Religion and how useful it is to those “powers” that enslave people, and is abandoned, or turned against, that doesn’t mean everything else “sensed” but not by physical senses is automatically gone. I am a spiritual person, a mind being. I am aware of life within myself and all around me for as far as I care to project my awareness. The material world is but one aspect of life. In fact without life nothing would exist so life is the real womb of creation. Spirit, also invisible, is what flows through all aspects of life and connects it all. I think that is what rawgod is also saying. That life-spirit combo existed long before our material worlds ever came to be.
    If we fast forward to some few thousand years ago and read up on discovered and translated earliest records of Homo Sapiens, we find that our ancestors were very cognizant of gods. Not “God” as institutional religion has rendered it for ease of control and profits, but bona fide gods. They were very visible, very powerful, jealous, war-mongering, misogynist and easily provoked to wrath. A god’s wrath could mean the death of thousands of Earthians, and often did. We have records of these entities living on earth and exploiting it for their own end until they ‘left.’ So in those days the gods were very real,very dangerous and had to be obeyed to the letter. It is from remembrances of those Homo Sapiens beginnings that the Bible was cobbled together and it should surprise no one that there are many instances in the Bible when alien technology, though grossly misunderstood, was used. Weapons of mass destruction and spaceships are clearly described therein.
    The point is that “God” outside of religious obfuscation and outright lies, does exist. I can attest to the existence of “God” myself though I cannot prove it. I can, however, demonstrate the out-workings of this God’s will in all the evil and horror that man does to man and to nature on a daily basis. If we discount the workings of some God in man’s propensity to think violence and act violently then we must in all honesty not only “blame” man for all the evil extant on earth, but be fully prepared to explain this propensity including racism and misogyny, using nothing but nature as seen for a Darwinist viewpoint. We must be prepared to prove that man’s insane drive to wage war and destroy the natural environment is a totally natural process and must never be impeded. We must prepared to defend this natural process and make a mockery of all those individuals and groups that seek peace, to justice, etc. We must stop all attempts made to better ourselves because to do so has to be insane as well as pointless.

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    1. Isn’t it tragic that a few men have capitalized on these feelings and empowerments and turned them into business and governance? The church also disallowed these practices and hereticized them, stealing from the people the power to chart their own path. Thanks friend. Excellent, excellent comment.

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  4. Ah yes, primitivism. The term “blind faith” comes to mind. To invest that much confidence in the improbable, never mind the impossible, takes a giant leap in the idea of faith. It must reinforced be a byproduct of group think or something like it. But I’m just guessing, surmising if you will. How about roping in a few clinical psychologists for their take on the subject. There must be a study or two out there.

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    1. Eric Hoffer and the truebeliever™️ eloquates quite nicely in his study of mass movements. 1/3 of the people really want to attach to something bigger than themselves and seek guidance. 1/3 go along with the status quo, which is the first 1/3’s belief that everyone else really needs this too. The final third doesn’t really want to be bothered either way, but in their complacency allow the crazy to develop into tradition. APA has an official diagnosis, but gently words their findings as “functional delusion” as an acceptable form of belief. Don’t want to offend any suckers, or potential clients.

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    1. Maybe I just understand the neurology and the physiology too well— we all see what we’re looking for based on where you focus your efforts, hence all the regional beliefs. Be a little more clear in your statement and I’ll try anything. If it’s true it’ll work whether I want it to or not.

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      1. you are used to thinking of yourself as a human body, with senses and thoughts and emotions. you have thought that way for many lives. of course, it is hard to conceive of another way of being.
        but. consider you are not a body that is living in a world, but you are the awareness into which all things arise. you not hearing things, you are the hearing itself, not seeing, but the seeing, etc. if you take a second and just sit still with the mind empty of any thoughts, just being there, letting sounds come, but not analyzing them, letting them go… there, in that very neutral space of being, in that ultimate space of presence and stillness of mind, god is.
        nothing supernatural, nothing grandiose, just pure being.

        a famous indian guru has this mantra to repeat “i am not the body, i am not the mind”. if you eliminate those, what is there that remains?

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        1. Ok. I’ll give it a go. I won’t have any quiet time today (another part of our human problem) and I’ll do my first, non religious meditation void of the common self. Thank you.

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        2. What you have is a void that you are choosing to call god. God does not exist. Only life does. I am life. You are life. Life is life. But none of us are god.
          Of course now we have to define god if we are going to bring the possibility into being. But how does one define that which does not exist? You can, only because you want to make it exist. I cannot, for I know it does not exist. I have lived millions of lives on this plane of reality, and probably as many as on the plane before this one. I have never met god in any life I have lived, even though I tried very hard to make something called god exist. You think you have, good for you. But don’t try to pawn off your vision of god on those who don’t have it. That is incredibly disrespectful. Now it is your turn to call me disrespectful if you wish. But I do not wish to put words in your mouth, so I will turn the keyboard back over to you, or jim, to see who has what to say.

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          1. I think the two of you have more in common than you think, as Monica has defined “god” previously more in line as “us” and the energy of the universe.

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            1. Well, her comment did seem to have some recognizable connotations to it. But then to hear the g-word used didn’t fit. Time will tell. Most of my best friends started out as near-enemies. Language and vocabulary need to be set right first. That is a continuous problem for me…

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            2. Her and I clarified much of our dialog on her blog. You should check it out. It’s pretty short, sweet, and thought provoking.

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            1. In my present understanding of what you are saying, I see it as disrespectful. But Jim tells me your word “god” is different from what I usually hear when someone says “god” in front of me. So for now I will have to wait to see how you respond to my comment I just made in an earlier part of this discussion.
              I have a big problem when people use words that carry so much baggage it is hard to understand them in ways other than a huge majority use them. So, I am willing to be open-minded, but I make no promises at this time.

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  5. I thought maybe I understood when peeps say they are spiritual, but not religious. I no longer think that. Dang, Jim, I got 3 posts behind. Caught up at last.

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    1. Spirituality is ignoring the present for imagination. The biggest regret would be to live life waiting. How many are dead and buried that threw away inquiry to believe in something that never came? What a waste of humanity’s time.

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    2. Spiritual but not religious can go in a lot of different directions, Bill–mine is just one of many. But to kill two ideas with one stone, no one can see the face of god because there is no god, nowhere. I am not religious, but I believe in spirit, that being the connection between all living beings through one thing that is knowable but not explainable–life!
      We have no real idea what life is, yet we know it is there because we are alive. Scientifically speaking, we can see the effects of life: being born, growing, thinking, accomplishing/wasting, breathing, feeling, etc. But the only way we can really measure life is by dying, When we lose life we can measure the fact something is missing that was there but moments before, yet was unmeasurable when it was there.
      So when I say spirit is connection, what I am really saying is that we are all sharing the one thing that makes us what we are, no matter what material form it takes (single-cellular, multi-cellular, virus, bacteria, plankton, plant, animal, human, “?”). Life has DNA, and all DNA is traceable to one source, even if we do not know what that source is or was.
      So, as I say, I am spiritual, but in no way religious or theistic.

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          1. good question. consciousness is the most subtle, non-dimensional, “principle” in manifestation. it cannot be studied, nor is it to be found “somewhere”. we only become “aware” of it through its effect on reality, as it molds and shapes it.

            life and death are both experiences of consciousness. the nature of consciousness has no beginning and no end. if life was the painting, then consciousness is the canvas which allows that painting to be. being so subtle and inevitable, we never pay attention to it.

            all the material creation is also a denser manifestation of consciousness, including us, all the activity and all that happens. our essence is pure consciousness. but until we become aware of it, consciousness is ‘sleeping’. Jesus is an example of fully awakened consciousness, in the physical as well. he transcended physical death.

            when consciousness ‘awakens’, as in the Buddha, the whole experience of Being is fully awake. you know you are existence itself, and never identify with a persona anymore.

            hope this helps.

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            1. These are my opinions, spoken not to teach, but only to offer something I found in me. If you find something similar in yourself depends on your direction of looking. Everyone is different.
              I am with you through the first two paragraphs, except your “consciousness” is what I call “life.” Otherwise the words I am reading seem to mean what I am able to contemplate.
              Paragraph four should come before paragraph three, Buddha (if he ever existed) predated Christ (if christ ever existed). But times were so much different then, and people were more in touch with what I call their spirits. The only meaning I can even contemplate for the word “soul” is singing from your whole being, Any kind of metaphysical being called soul is a human invention–a “need fulfiller.” It can only exist in a religious world. This world is not religious by nature, only by confuscation/confustication. Take away the ability to think, and take away the ability to decifer.
              Christ, if he existed, was insane. He learned some things from followers of Buddha, but did not truly understand them. And not realizing he did not understand them, he tried to teach them anyway to people who had no possibility of understanding that he did not know what he was talking about. Give a man a little bit of knowledge, and he will try to give that little bit of knowledge to those willing to listen. Listen, but not hear! Rebirth, not reincarnation. The former has nothing to do with the latter, it is a misinterpretation. I would give you more examples but old age is taking away thoughts that used to be easy to remember.
              The point I am trying to make is that christ did a horrible job of bringing buddhism to a people who knew nothing about “life” after death. He screwed it up so badly that it took away the peoples’ ability to think for themselves, and we are only now beginning to understand how important that is.
              For me there is no god, no christ, no soul, no satan, no heaven, no hell. But there is life, and life has always been, and always will be. We, you and I, appear to have certain similarities in how we go places. But the places we go are dissimilar at best, contradictory at worst.
              I cannot use words like god or religion except in negative, life-denying form. You, on the other hand, seem to use god and religion in a consciousness-affirming form. I can never go there. Nothing runs this universe except chaos. I may be wrong but it seems your universe has order. The two are polar opposites, and never the twain shall meet.
              I do not hope this helps, but I do hope it brings understanding of a sort. I think we can be frenemies, lol.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. sure, you can call consciousness life. i am well aware a ‘label’ is only that. an empty word. i used to say, if you don’t like god, call it coca cola. it really makes no difference.

              question still remains: “what is life”, “who or what is experiencing all this? these are the questions that lead to the root of being. i am much less concerned with jesus as figure.

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            3. Thank you. To begin, I would like to establish a few parameters. For you, is life/consciousness a human thing, a primate thing, an animal thing, a plant thing, or a cellular thing? Is it an energy, a force, a universal constant, a cosmic constant (where universal is physical reality, and cosmic anything and everything in the cosmos reality, and the cosmos is a multi-layered and multi-levelled, multi-textured totality mostly unknowable to life as we experience it in the third dimension)?
              You are correct of course that words are just labels, but in our world labels have baggage, and to drop the baggage for one person does not necessarily drop the baggage for another person. Making coca-cola into a god is still having a god, so in my mind there is no progress in a conversation. You’re just having a coke instead.
              A poor attempt at humour. I’ll just shut up for now, and wait to see what your response is. I lost my focus, and haven’t got it back yet.

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            4. it’s very hard to point at and define consciousness, as absolutely nothing exists outside it. it comes in very handy to have some experience with meditation. but here’s an attempt i’ve made
              “Many people assume consciousness is thought itself.

              Consciousness is a ‘vehicle’ for thought, but it is before thought. We experience it directly only when mind is free of thought.
              It cannot be described, because it is free of any qualities. So it takes whatever quality we give it.
              Consciousness is not matter or energy (which is also matter). It is the most subtle ‘quality’ of creation.

              Consciousness is like a ladder that goes from the grossest manifestation (our material world) to its purest form (no manifestation at all- pure awareness)

              On this ladder, ordinary, daily mental consciousness is pretty low. That’s why bosses don’t just disappear when employees wish it in their minds!”

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            5. I guess I did not do a very good job of asking my questions.I was trying to determine who you see as having consciousness. I find that most people only award consciouness to human, or maybe just the higher primates. How I look at this, in our dimension, is that life happens at the cellular level. It is not just for people, or whales and orangutans, but as long as it has DNA and RNA then it is capable of consvioys life. Now, what a human calls consciousness and a bacteria calls consciousness may or may not have the same definitions, but still whatever it is is still equivalent no matter how many cells one might have in their being, or where on the evolutionary “ladder” they might be. (Evolution may look like a ladder, but that is not necessarily the case. It can go sideways or level as well as up or down.) To me, evolution is just life trying different ways to express itself, in different body forms, continually looking for something that can advance the understanding of what life is while treating other evolutionary steps as equal trials to itself.
              When I asked if you see life as an energy or a force, you said you see it as matter.This goes along with my above statement is anything with DNA, but even that does not go far enough. Life must be able to exist on all levels and planes in the cosmos, and many of those levels and planes contain no matter, so there is something else that must be part of the definition that is life. This is hard, nearly impossible, to do in third dimensional languages. Even if we can get to these other levels or planes does not guarantee that we can explain them or even discuss them rationally. How can one do that when they don’t have the words? Experience on one level does not guarantee understanding on another level.
              You say above “Consciousness…is the most” subtle quality of creation.” You lose me here because I do not understand creation. Creation assumes a creator, but I do not accept there is a creator. Life is, always was, and forever will be. To throw in the idea of creator throws in a beginning and an end, a loser and a winner. I am not prepared to do that.
              Imhope I have said enough now to get you to see what I am asking of you. I am searching for some kind of a common ground, one we can agree on and then branch out to wherever it naturally takes us. Jim thinks highly of you, so I owe it to him to find a commonality between us. I would l8ke to find it.

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            6. let’s go back a little, and let me ask you a question. here we are talking, both aware beings (there is a nice commonality already). i’m assuming you are living and breathing, correct?

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            7. Last time I checked, but I took for granted you were doing likewise. I have not yet come across a disembodied spirit that knows how to type. In fact, the last disembodied spirit I came across was me. And that was some 50 years ago, though I have not forgotten.
              Am I jumping the gun? Reading your comments above I can see similarities galore, but differences even more. But go at your own speed. That is only fair.

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            8. you being able to know that you exist, and think and feel, is consciousness. another word often used is awareness. you use the word spirit. is that not something that is immaterial, and therefore exists outside the boundaries of matter, mind or the natural world? i suspect you’re comfortable thinking that spirit doesn’t die with the body. such is the nature of consciousness. if you were to pay very close attention to your thoughts and impulses, you would find that your reality, what happens in your life, is a reflection of the your mind. when we are happy, life seems wonderful. when we are cranky, nothing goes our way.
              when we withhold anger/depression inside for long time, illness starts to develop.
              have a lovely day!😊

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            9. Is spirit outside the boundaries of matter? According to Russian scientusts it is not. I cannot remember the exact measurement, but a dying body loses something like 10 oz. within minutes after death. If they are right (I neither agree nor disagree) then the spirit is material. But this is extraneous to this discussion, in my mind.
              Either way, spirit exists outside the boundaries of physical reality, but it also has a presence within them. Spirit for me is the interacting embodiment of life between physical and non-physical realities. (I could say metaphysical, but that word too carries baggage.)
              I have to admit I am baffled by what it is you are trying to say. Yes, I learned a long time ago that holding anger in can cause illness, including depression, but does that make it okay to yell, scream and batter someone who has nothing to do with one’s anger. All one is doing is causing someone else to suffer while he/she does not get rid of their suffering. If I have to choose between making myself sick or making someone else sick, I will always choose to make myself sick. I can control my reactions, I do not want to be responsible for causing others fear or pain. But what has this to do with understanding life, or consciousness as you prefer to call it? I will be 70 years old this year, and I have been searching for answers about life since I was a child. My discoveries have been monumental, to me, but I have learned my discoveries are mostly meaningless to others. I am the world’s greatest expert at being me, but I am the world’s worst expert at being anyone else. What this statement has to do with anything I don’t know, but it felt appropriate here. We seem to be talking about certain topics, but yet I am feeling no closer to being understood, or to understanding you. Are we talking at cross purposes?
              I, for one, do not know.

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            10. many more splendid years ahead! the journey never ends, and has no goal except itself. imagine how dull life would be if we understood everything. did not Einstein say “the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious”?
              stay in awe, friend😊🙏

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Actually, Monica, I would rather know the answers. The mysterious is what keeps us at each other’s minds and throats. We cannot afford to stay divided. That is not the path to peace, not in my mind.

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            12. There are no answers. Only perceptions from each point of view. Stay open and keep your light on as long as you can. Some great minds have come and gone and there are no answers, yet the meaning is so fundamental to existence that you can’t see it. It’s like a light particle seeking the bulb. How would it even know it was a piece of light? And if it ever made it back to the bulb nothing would change because it is us. Right in the midst of it all and still ask why. You can’t see it because you are it.

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            13. That depends what kind of answers you are looking for, Jim. It also depends on what you are willing to see. I don’t so much look for universal answers as I look for “me” answers. And I find some every now and then. The main thing is not that they work for everyone, but they work for me, based on my experiences in life.
              What more need a person look for?

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  6. Just look at how we treat our dead but always take our living for granted. Missing birthdays but never funerals… I always think, why not treat people according to what you would say at their eulogy? Why not let your loved ones hear what they mean to you while they’re still AROUND TO HEAR IT! Similar idea in making a void sacred….

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