Is It Serious?

What gives life purpose is death

—This is a serious game, these emergent property humans that have no meaning but continuation. Or is it the one-and-done chance at eternal life for the created Christian? That’s a great game, very serious, but a game nonetheless. “and for His pleasure they were created”—Rev 4:11

Does life have meaning? If so, it is a serious business. But life is not serious at all, “it is a non-serious play—with nothing to be achieved, with nowhere to reach. It is just a play, with no end”—Satrakshita. There is only continuation—til it all burns out then arises again. How long it takes matters none wit, like awakening from a long and dreamless sleep. You will never know what happened when you were out.

Seriousness is always end-oriented. It means that you are living in order to achieve something and life will be meaningless if not achieved.
It also permeates culture—“the way and influence of Hebrew thought in western culture creates the backdrop of serious, scientific existentialism influenced by that same tradition”. We must save everything!

Science can pat itself with its competitive sense of compassion—to reduce suffering, while religion professes gods love for you while it does nothing. The only real thing that gives life meaning is death. The limits of time gives everything meaning.

Is data more important than conspiracy theory? Is one more organic than the other? It is this tug of war that makes life interesting. That same stressors of nature that pushes evolution into new boundaries.

So we see there are a couple of goals in mind— every last human is innocuously protected to die without suffering—if they would only listen… If they won’t—sanction life itself. It is very religious to do so. Life is so serious that punishment be administered for simply following your programming. No immutable attribute of oneself can be a sin, but it does make it interesting to think so.

“We will not survive to that day (500 years) unless major changes take place in our conduct to one another and to the extent in which we embrace the role of technology as being basically the lone source of our survival”—Neil Degrasse Tyson

No thanks. Not ready to play that game, but I’m sure the upcoming spirit children of god have been held back just for this specific, end-time (again) trial of their faith—to accept a purely mechanical, nuts and bolts universe or be ostracized as the heretics, shunned from medical care unwilling to comply. The flip-flop-ability of the game provides millions of variables.

“It is the knowledge that I am going to die that creates the focus that I bring to being alive. The urgency of accomplishment—Neil Degrasse Tyson

Front deck

Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

93 thoughts on “Is It Serious?”

  1. As far as life in this dimension is concerned, in my opinion, the time between birth and death, it is as meaningful or meaningless as you want to make it.
    In my understanding of the reincarnation process, which you are free to consider or not, our spirits can take one life to advance our consciousness, or they can take 50 lives. It really doesn’t matter. There will always be another opportunity to try. This is why I find belief in a god, especially the “One True God,” so futile and so uninteresting.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi rawgod, it is said that after the Buddha achieved his enlightenemt, he recounted 554 past lives! or life stories, as buddhists to refer to them.


      1. He was only counting human lives. I cannot distinguish one life from another, nor do I want to. But I can feel with great certainty I have lived millions of lives since the primordial soup about 4.5 billion years ago, give or take a century. Each one of them, even the ones that lasted only microseconds, were as important as any other, including the life I am now living.


  2. I think the divine paradox is that life is pure experiment whilst imbued with “deadly” purpose. The crux of life’s meaning and game-play lies in “choice” … the fact of choice and the weight of choice. I have been watching some fascinating NDE you-tubes and some of the returnees bring back quantum physics paradigms of multiple lives being lived at once where ALL choices are explored and followed through to ultimate conclusion. Fun…and…deadly. Touch that cobra in one life. Tame it in another. Avoid it in yet another. Murder in one life. Be murdered in another. Save in yet another. All just a chess game when observed from the perspective of an eternal consciousness or even our momentarily conscious life. Still a game but feel the weight of a bad choice and you’ll understand suffering soon enough. Still, there exists a place deep within that only ever observes and it is to this place we return when we sleep and dream and finally die, I believe. The Grand Master who observes the game and scores it for worth and challenge and ultimately conceit.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He/She/It would have to have a mighty huge tally book to keep track of all the lives in all the dimensions. No, we are our own scorekeepers, and we have been known to fudge our books.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What if there is a constant unsleeping consciousness beyond the cycle? What if there is a way to catch the inside section and keep on surfing? What if your game is eternally serious, and meaningful?

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    1. Do you know of a way to catch the wave and keep surfing? Our western culture trains children to take it seriously, but isn’t natural to them at all. Neither is time


        1. One must stay in front of the wave to go anywhere. Even surfers can be damned.
          “In times of change learners will inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to function in a world that no longer exists”.
Erik Hoffer
          Even the “conscious observer” role finds the moving stream has carried him with it, even against his will.


          1. The experience of failing to stay in front of the wave and getting chundered (excuse the technical terminology) is intrinsic to waxhead enlightenment. It teaches us of our powerlessness in the hands of the ultimate and of the need to move with it – rather than fight against it – if we hope to see the light.

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    1. Is it really atheist or christ? That’s not even a relevant choice. There is only one contradictory free solution to the puzzle. True there are no deities, but everything g is the one thing. The eyes and ears of consciousness itself. The Tao, which Christ would be subject to precedes and god.


            1. That’s expected when everything you learn is with a goal to enhance the one thing you know. Anchoring bias is a bitch to overcome. I remember it well.


            2. Do you know how to heal your bone? Do you think someday father will sit you on his knee and tell you all about the Inflammatory stage when a bone breaks and the body sends out signals for special cells to come to the injured area?
              Will he explain fully about the hematoma formation, the fibrocartilaginous callus formation, and the bony callus formation and remodeling? He wouldn’t know, just like you don’t know. You just do it.

              Liked by 1 person

      1. I find illusory to be a very challenging word, just like spirit. Illusory can mean not what appears on the surface, but it can also mean unsure that anything is even there, ghostly. The Buddha spoke in Sanskrit, I believe, so all we have is the translation: life is illusion. Is that a true translation? Possibly as good as we can get in a non-spiritual language. We think he meant earthly life is not what it seems — when viewed from a non-earthly position. His reality was spiritual, not physical. Few people in the Western world can access that spiritual world — to most of us physical life is all there is, with a possible heavenly eternity to follow. (What a horrid concept, to my mind!) But what if he meant the process of life as being illusion? We take life for granted, because we know we are alive, we know that we are living beings. But what does that mean?
        I don’t think we can have a real concept of life as long as we are alive. Paradoxical? Maybe. But maybe not…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Well, not quite.

          The Buddha preached in Prakrit, which is related to Sanskrit in a similar way that vernacular Italian is related to Latin. Prakrit is what the people spoke. Only the Brahmin elite would have understood Sanskrit.

          The notion reality is an illusion (maya) is a mostly Advaitist Hindu concept rejected by the Buddha. He preached sunyata (emptiness), which is a practice of seeing things as they appear to be without forming a view as to what – if anything – lies behind them. The first step to doing so is letting go of preconceptions about the fundamental nature of things – such as whether or not they’re an illusion.

          This doctrine isn’t just a rejection of metaphysical and ontological speculation. It doesn’t only go to questions of whether life or the universe has a meaning or purpose and whether beings have an immortal soul or animating spirit. It extends to rejecting the supposition there’s a self at all (anatta, which is considered one of the three fundamental characteristics of existence) as well as the supposition there isn’t one. Vipassana is a form of meditation in which the practitioner dispassionately observes the arising and passing of thoughts, perceptions and emotions and in doing so arrives at the insight there is no thinker, perceiver or feeler behind them, just the events themselves (so suck on that Descartes). There is also no practitioner, just the meditation.

          A lot of Westerners think Buddhism incorporates a belief in reincarnation. That’s mostly false and was explicitly rejected by the Buddha in his debates with other sages and scholars. He preached rebirth, in which there is no fundamental essence passed on from life to life – or even moment to moment – but rather in which cause and effect (karma and vipaka) – especially those arising from craving (tanha) – lead to a connected but discrete series of events that continues throughout a lifetime and onward to subsequent lifetimes. A metaphor often used is that of using a failing candle to light another one. There isn’t a single, discrete flame being passed from candle to candle, though one flame causes the other. There is no ‘you’ to be reincarnated, though one life causes others.

          Tibetan forms of Buddhism (such as vajrayana) tend to play down or ignore those teachings because they’re incompatible with the Tibetan doctrines of reincarnating lamas that pre-date Buddhism and act as an organising principle in Tibetan society. It’s mostly Tibetan interpretations of Buddhism – along with Hindu doctrines of reincarnation and Abrahamic notions of an immortal soul – that have informed the widespread view that the Buddha believed in reincarnation.


          1. Thank you for that. Having studied under a Tibetan rimpoche, such things never come up. But that still leaves me speaking English, and to have an “everyday” conversation about reincarnation in English requires the use of certain words that seem to express a continuing spirit, but that is not how I mean it. I feel very constricted by the English language.
            Anyway, I rejected TiBu because it was too closed system for me, while still retaining some of its teachings — throwing out the baby but not the bathwater, or something like that. But I do respect the current Dalai Lama, he has a good head on his shoulders, and a good life spirit inside that head.
            Obviously some of my learning about the Buddha were nowhere near the depth of yours, but so it goes. While the Buddha too is someone to be respected, he lived 5000 years ago. IMO, life has changed, and we have to change with the times, spiritually as well as physically. There may be technical differences between reincarnation and rebirth, but for me the “spirit” of the terms is still the same. Life does not begin at birth, or end with death. Our egos make us think it does (with a whole lotta religious egos believing they go on forever exactly as they are), but that is just “third dimension” talk.

            Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Frederic. I see (with my crystal ball) a lot of anxiety and a record number of pharmaceuticals on the crowded horizon. Not my style. How have you been?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well and busy. We’ve signed for a house on Oak Island NC and are now in the throws (pun) of sorting and packing for the move to “our final resting place”(wife doesn’t care for that as a name for our new digs so we settled on “You and Me by the Sea”.) 🤠

    My piece, “Transcendence” was partly instigated by “is it serious”. I had just finished re-reading the Bhagavad Gita so was already contemplating cycles of “soul sleep” when I saw your reference to it in relation to meaning. I agree that without a static, transcendent wakefulness apart from and superior to the TAO, meaning is rather meaningless. Which came (is) first, God or the TAO? 🐓🥚🍳🍗

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  5. That second Neil Degrasse Tyson quote reminds me of a 2016 one from a 16 year old boy shortly before he died of cancer.

    The only possible way I could have had my unique set of experiences is by living my life as it is, and that means dying when I die.” – Max Edwards

    I dunno if death gives life meaning – seems to me plenty of people find meaning in denying death – but in my experience it sure is liberating. Once you truly accept that someday fairly soon both you, your memory and everything you’ve striven to achieve will be gone and forgotten it becomes a lot easier to align yourself with the here and now; which is all we’ve got really.

    According to Ernest Becker, most if not all of the evil in the world is the result of ‘immortality projects’ by which people try to deny the inevitability of their complete annihilation. Whether it’s about Ozmandias type monuments or intellectual legacies or dynasties of descendants, immortality projects not only obscure true self-knowledge, they inevitably become more important than other people or humanity in general in the manner of Nozick’s ‘utility monster’. So you get projects like ‘saving eternal souls’ or ‘establishing the worker’s paradise’ or ‘eliminating the scourge of ‘ trivialising present day death and suffering in an attempt to establish a future beyond death and suffering in which our mortal achievements will be immortalised by the grateful masses.

    I think Becker over-eggs the custard a bit, but his basic point is valid. If you live for an imagined goal beyond your own life you’re neglecting what life truly has to offer and opening yourself to terrors that are beyond the merely existential. If you fully embrace your eventual death and extinction you learn to cherish the here and now and escape existential dread entirely.

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    1. I am not sure I understand how “eliminating the scourge” leads to “our mortal achievements” being immortalised. Something got lost in the transliteration. Who are we to say our goals or someone else’s goals are “imagined”?
      I overcame my fear of death when I was 19, so a helluva long time ago. I will never forget that night. While I still have a fear of “how will I die?” death itself holds no fear. It is the natural progression of life. It releases my spirit into the whatever you want to call the cosmos of life itself. “I” stop, but in my understanding of that cosmos the life essence within me continues. And if it doesn’t, big deal. Life itself will always be around. For me, the continuation of life is all that matters. Just BTW, I have no children and thus no legacy to be concerned about.
      If this comment makes no sense, well, “C’est la vie.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Who are we to say our goals or someone else’s goals are “imagined”?

        I only meant it in the sense of the goals we haven’t realised, that depend on future events, aren’t real but imagined. Of course they may someday be achieved and cease to be imagined, but ‘the best laid plans of mice and men’ …

        I overcame my fear of death when I was 19, so a helluva long time ago.

        I thought I had when quite young too; but I was wrong. I had no problem thinking about it, I felt no ongoing trauma following life threatening events and because I was of the opinion that death just meant nothingness I had no fear of what might follow death (though I did admit to trepidation about the sort of pain and suffering that might precede it).

        But I was wrong.

        A series of unexpected deaths of people close to me seriously fucked me over for a long time. I became fearful that others I cared about would die and found I couldn’t ‘let go’ of those who had. Paralysing, irresolvable grief that just went on and on. I found I wanted to die, a feeling that rarely lifted for years – which only reinforced my opinion that I wasn’t afraid of death.

        It was only when an epiphany completely changed my perspective and lifted the grief and suicidality in an instant that I realised what had been going on. I’d displaced my inability to face my own death onto the deaths of others. I could contemplate being physically dead with equanimity but not that people would stop caring about me, I’d be forgotten and the struggles and achievements of my life would all cease to matter. I couldn’t stop grieving the deaths of those I loved because I unconsciously saw it as presaging the day when people would stop grieving over my own, eventually forgetting about me entirely. The suicidality was a form of antiphobia in which I was trying feel control over something I feared.

        Now I feel I have come to terms with my own death. But given I thought that for decades and was completely wrong I’m not ruling out that I might still be kidding myself.


        1. I can only hope I am not kidding myself, but the difference between you and I seems to be that death does not end life. It merely changes it.
          Do I want people to grieve me? Sure as hell not. I have already left instructions with my partner, and she with me, that whomever goes first, there is no notification of friendsor family. No funeral, just burn us up and spread the ashes wherever. We will just disappear into oblivion without a mention. If other people get upset (we doubt anyone will), that is on them. It will all be too late, so why bother.

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          1. Well, I don’t think my death will end all life. Just the one, hopefully (unless I’m driving a car load of passengers when it happens). Oh yeah, and all the greeblies living inside me that rely on my metabolism to feed them. At least they’ll get a big goodbye feast without my immune system crashing the party.

            But the big thing is that everything I care about now; the things I enjoy, the things I dislike, the things I’m proud of, the things I’m ashamed of, the people I love, the people I hate, everything I’ve ever striven to achieve or avoid; will eventually be gone and utterly forgotten. Any meaning I’ve ever found will become meaningless. There will be nothing left in the whole universe that’s identifiable with or as me.

            I guess the universe got along OK without me for 14 billion years, but still …


            1. We would all love to leave our mark, I am sure, but who ever does? Hitler? No thanks, a mark like that I do not need to leave…


            2. I think the point you make is quite close to Becker’s.

              He’d suggest we want to ‘make a (lasting) mark’ because we’re always unconsciously aware of our impending – potentially imminent – mortality but seek to keep it from conscious awareness due to its ability to strip value and meaning from our existence. So we invest in ‘immortality projects’ – building something more stable and endurable than ourselves so that our personal worth can continue to mean something even if we’re struck dead.

              But because these projects are inherently more important than our own lives, they are also prone to become more important than the lives of others. Hence they become as basis for extreme evil.

              The Thousand Year Reich would have seemed selfless to Hitler when he first considered it. Devoting his own mortal span to improving the lot of the entire German Volk, and through them the world, for a millennium. But a project so grand as to be worth more than Hitler’s life would also be worth more than the lives of others – especially untermenschen of inherently lesser worth. And so it goes.

              Hitler couldn’t have done what he did if he’d stayed within his own mortal horizons. It was only by seeking to transcend them that he was able to ‘immortalise’ himself in infamy.


            3. We could go on about this forever, cg. Take the Buddha, who may not have intended to still be affecting lives 5000 years after his own demise, yet he is, and in a mostly pisitive manner, I would suggest. But then comes Jésus of Nazareth, who intended on affecting people for eternity, which he was partially successful at. But is it a good thing he ever lived, if indeed he ever didlive? Would the history of Christianity be considered good or evil? My thought, considering all the things done in his name, that unintentionally his legacy was evil, though he probably had no evil intent. The question is, if humanity should survive another 10,000 years, will any of this triumvirate still have any effect on those future people? I think they will all be long forgotten by them. And so will you and I.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. The Buddha died about 2500 years ago after repeatedly asserting his dharma (teachings) would survive for either 500 or 1000 years, depending on how the sangha was organised.

              So if he was correct, there have been no true Buddhist teachings in the world for 1500-2000 years, though of course that would raise the question as to whether he ever taught that his dharma would be gone within 1000 years.

              On my first visit to Ajanta caves my then girlfriend and I were simultaneously struck with an amazing epiphany. My interpretation of it was that indeed the teachings of the Buddha had been massively distorted within 1000 years of his death and offered an insight as to how it had happened. Of course that’s was nothing compared to the debasement – even inversion – of appropriated Buddhist teachings by New Age commodifiers.

              As to whether his life has influenced people in a positive manner, I guess that’s a matter of perspective and how you measure ‘positive’. But one reason I reject utilitarian morality is because I think all actions cause a cascade of cause and effect that spreads out in myriad directions and continues essentially forever, but there is no way to value the totality of those effects that would enable an objective assessment as to whether its ultimately positive or negative.

              So, for example, perhaps during WWII the Gestapo killed a child who otherwise would have become the grandmother of someone who starts WWIII and exterminates all life on the planet. So Hitler would have saved the world.

              OTOH, Buddhism was very popular among German elites between the wars and Joseph Goebbels exploited that (via his upper-class Buddhist wife, Magda) to expand the Nazi party beyond its roots in working class thuggery into the ‘respectable’ German upper and middle classes. So perhaps without the Buddha the Nazi party would never have ruled Germany and the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened.

              I think the statistical law of ‘regression to the mean’ suggests that over time all the good and bad effects of an action (or indeed, a whole life) will tend to even out into moral neutrality, no matter what method you use to quantify moral outcomes.

              Liked by 1 person

            5. But Hitler also may have killed the parents-to-be of the next Albert Einstein, though that seems just as unlikely since people like Einstein don’t come around too often, statistical speaking.
              I wrote a story once of a woman considering abortion, thinking about many of the possibilities her child’s life could go. In the end she had the abortion. She felt the odds were against her. But that was just fiction, like what possibilities did Hitler et al prevent from happening.
              Not that we are talking about abortion, I am neither pro nor con. It is in no way up to me. Only the would-be mother knows her circumstances. NO ONE ELSE should ever have a say. Same goes for suicide. Making it illegal was one of the most arrogant laws ever made. I could never do suicide myself, I respect life too much. But if someone truly wants to kill themselves, go for it. Just don’t mess it up.
              It”s all part of life,.. and death.

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            6. But Hitler also may have killed the parents-to-be of the next Albert Einstein


              My point was that every action leads to an uncountable number of outcomes, from the extremely good to the extremely bad but probably tending to cluster around neutral (as with bell curve distribution). Over time they’ll tend to even out and their total effect will get closer and closer to neutral, no matter how saintly or diabolical the initial motives may have been.

              I agree with you on laws governing abortion and suicide, but I’m an opponent of legalised euthanasia in Australia despite agreeing with it in principle. Basically to legalise it is to institutionalise, bureaucratise and commercialise it and I don’t think Australian institutions are robust or humane enough to be trusted with that sort of responsibility.

              Again to add weight to Godwin’s Law, it was the ‘enlightened’ euthanasia laws of the Wiemar Republic and the notion of ‘life unworthy of life’ proposed in 1920 by the humanist psychiatrist and utilitarian moral philosopher Alfred Hoche that provided legal and intellectual justification for the Aktion T4 extermination of German mental patients and, eventually, the Holocaust. I don’t necessarily buy into ‘slippery slope’ arguments, but I do believe in heeding the lessons of history. The Australian utilitarian philosopher and animal rights activist, Peter Singer, (himself the son of Holocaust survivors) has used arguments very similar to Hoche’s to advocate the ‘involuntary euthanasia’ of ‘defective’ infants (e.g. those with Downs Syndrome or autism). His sister, Joan Dwyer, was an autistic disability rights activist who first coined the term ‘neurodiversity’. It’s a strange world.

              Liked by 1 person

            7. Highly unlikely he killed the next Einstien. Much more likely he or she lives, lived, or will live in some evangelical, hick, or strict sharia family and become a great servant of the most high, right up until the moment it’s too late to accomplish something for the desperate forms of the world.


            8. I understood the point you were making well enough, but threw in the Einstein thing for contrast anyway. You moved the conversation from suicide (personal choice) to euthanasia (forced will). No matter what one’s beliefs might be, euthanasia is as bad or worse than forcing a woman to bring an unwanted baby to term. No one SHOULD EVER HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO EITHER! Add forced sterilization of certain people so as not to “contaminate” the gene pool (Canada, c 1920s) and you have 3 things “god” missed when he gave humanity “his” Ten Commandments. Surely that if nothing else shows the Abrahamic theity to be not what the bible purports it to be. That God had no idea of what dastardly ideas humanity could come up with all on their own.

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            9. A more credible hypothetical than the one I offered about the Gestapo killing a child –

              What if Hitler had never come to power and WWII had never happened?

              Perhaps history would have continued for many decades before there was another major confrontation between world powers. But by then nuclear weapons and other WMD would have become powerful and sophisticated and the world wouldn’t have the examples of Hiroshima and the Holocaust to keep them mindful of the potential consequences of total war.


            10. For anyone who is interested here is a brief biography of Magda Goebbels that speaks of the role Tibetan Buddhism played in her life and how it may have enabled her to go along with the murders of her own children.

              At the end of the war Goebbels chose to follow Hitler’s example and commit suicide. The man who was willing to give up politics to live outside of Germany with the actress Lída Baarova wanted to demonstrate loyalty to Hitler and to die a hero’s death. And he wanted to take his wife and children with him. The children, he said, were still too young to speak for themselves but if they were old enough, he claimed, they would associate themselves unreservedly with this decision.

              Magda apparently went along with it. According to Meisner she fell back on her Buddhism – the Buddhism that had elements of Hinduism – reincarnation. Because her children were still innocent, she believed, they were guaranteed rebirth in more favorable conditions than in the life which had run its course. Magda, reports Meisner, once remarked to her friend Eleonore Quandt that “she wished to offer the children a new and better chance in life and for this they would first have to die.”

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Everything is possible, and were there a million parallel dimensions a million possible versions of any point in time could have happened. But as far as we know, there is only our dimension. This one is bad enough for most. I would hate to think what living beings in other dimensions might have to suffer through.


            12. Only one dimension with a million possible versions at any point in time.
              Why is suffering an issue but for a lack of understanding the process of nature (consciousness)?


            13. Suffering in the sense of thinking things could and should be better. I have over 40 medical issues I am dealing with on a daily basis, last count, many small, some huge, but while I do not like having to deal with them, I do not consider that I suffer. My life is what it is.
              But I know many who consider themselves to be suffering if they get a hang nail.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. It does. But how did you send this answer when I had barely hit the send button myself? SEND. POOF. REPLY, When did you have time to read the comment. I know the internet is fast, but that was barely two seconds real time for me.

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            15. Lack of time delay, if anything. I swear there are times people are replying before I even post a comment. It happens on all kinds of blogs. Even yours, Jim.

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          2. Form and life are not the same things. That is one reason it’s so hard to explain anything. The deception is that you are you and this is your body, and at death rawgod would cease to exist when the opposite is true. You never did.

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            1. The deception is that you are you and this is your body

              I find it interesting to watch how the borders of self keep shifting.

              Sometimes your ‘self’ extends outwards from your body to take in possessions, beliefs, groups you identify with or – especially during flow states – tools you’re using or the work you’re doing.

              At other times it retreats, so your body becomes an unpleasant accretion that imprisons or enslaves your mind or spirit. Aspects of your thoughts or behaviours are externalised as ‘mental illness’ that somehow attacks you from the outside. Parts of your life story are hived off and denied (“I wasn’t myself”).

              I don’t know if boundless Oneness without attributes (or with all attributes) is a more ‘true’ perception of ‘reality’, but it sure can be a relief to stop patrolling the boundaries of self and just let everything in/out.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. and just let everything in/out”. It also solves the problem of endless worry and the problem of evil that grips the mains of human perception. Scanning for danger is a fine trait when you need it, but this current arrangement of the game and all its monitoring devices—very few have any immunity to it.

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            3. There”s a thought, Jim, but you will never convince me of it. rawgod is only a name, granted, but names are symbols for things, no matter how temporary we are in the big scheme of things. Writing this comment to you tells me we both exist, at least for now. Of course, if you don’t reply to it, I may have to change my mind about your existence, lol.


      2. … and if they’re goals that won’t be achieved in your lifetime you’ve set them up to always be imagined.

        They might be goals shared with others while you’re alive, but when you’re dead the survivors are no longer sharing them with you; even if they invoke your memory while striving towards them.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fortunately, I have no such goals, unless it is to hope the world gets righted before it is left behind. Humanity is not worth saving, not the way we seem to be right now. Since I have not the power to change it, it can survive or commit species suicide all on its own. It would be sad, but most evolutionary experiments end in failure. Why not us too.

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          1. Yeah, this big brain business seems a pretty crazy idea. Ask any woman during childbirth.

            The dinosaurs did perfectly well without them for 280 million years or so, but looks like the hominid experiment in oversized craniums ain’t gonna make it’s 3 millionth anniversary.

            My money’s on cockroaches. They seem to have the natural selection game beat.


            1. Agreed. Them and crocodiles have lasted almost forever. But will the crocodiles eat the cockroaches, or verse vicea?


          2. Which ideas beliefs of any highly advanced civilizations have endured beyond a few structures left behind, or a handful of tablets? Continuation seems to be the goal until the game ends, then no one will ever know.


            1. Not so sure about that.

              Dualist Ancient Greek logic still seems pretty ubiquitous, even though the Greeks themselves had recognised its limitations by the time of Plotinus.

              And that Abrahamic dualistic monotheism is still turning us at each others throats millennia after God told the Children of Israel ‘though shalt not kill’ then sent them off to genocide the Midianites.

              But from the perspective of geological – or even evolutionary – time, all this is but a flicker of mayfly wings. It’ll be over soon enough.

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            2. Whatever the case, this is the best (only?) game in town. I’m sure archeologists in the next go-round will be scratching their heads and have an explanation for every detail.


            3. I do like the Alone series. It is humbling to know that even the most highly skilled survivalists cannot thrive on their own. We actually need each other to keep this form in play.


            4. I’ve never watched it, but when I was in Venturers (a slightly older, mixed gender version of Boy Scouts) one of our challenges was the two week survival camp.

              You were dropped off alone in a ‘wilderness’ area of your choosing with only clothes, a groundsheet, salt, a knife, a hatchet, matches, a billy (a steel container with a lid suitable for boiling water) and some rope and twine. I cheated a bit in that my knife was a top of the line Victorinox Swiss Army knife. You had to stay away from dwellings and roads and have no contact with anyone for two weeks. Again I pushed the envelope by scavenging baling wire from some old fencing.

              Of course with access to water, reasonable weather and a bit of common sense it’s hard to accidentally kill yourself in a fortnight, but I sure wasn’t the only one who found good shelter and ate reasonably well. I knew the area I’d chosen like the back of my hand and had the good sense to do it during the blackberry season.

              Liked by 2 people

            5. That’s a great experience.
              I attend at least two primitive skills camps each year. Instructors from all over the country teach their craft (this year I taught primitive sandals) but we do brain tanning, knife making, bow making, basketry, flint napping, etc. we kill a couple of goats and process them down to everything and a use for it. We’ve had several of our instructors on the show as well. It’s a nice week off with no cell service and good people and the kids really like it. It also has a very cool bartering community and active trading through the week.

              Liked by 2 people

            6. But life is not an idea, belief, or a highly developed civilization. Life includes bacteria and viruses, as well as us, which are as basic as we today can get. Life does not end, as far as history teaches us. Mayhaps some billion billion years from now it will disappear, but I doubt even then. We, of course, will be long gone by then.


      3. I am not sure I understand how “eliminating the scourge” leads to “our mortal achievements” being immortalised.

        Well, say “eliminating the scourge of X“, where X = cancer or drugs or terrorism or war or boy bands …


        1. Still ????
          Eliminating those things “might” be good (What’s wrong with drugs or boy bands? I would not be where I am today without LSD, and the world would be a lesser place without John Lennon’s Imagine!) but putting those aside, immortalised is a pretty strong word. That”s the part I don’t get. But, not to worry, it will all be forgotten a few days from now…


          1. Well, yeah, I’d hate to be known as the person who rid the world of drugs.

            But a statue of me with the inscription “He gave up his life so the world would never have to endure another Bay City Rollers”? Yeah, that’s something to aspire to.


            1. Yeah, there might be some worth in that, except, the statue would inadvertently be immortalizing the BCR at the same time, not a worthy endeavour, in my mind.
              (But no thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten they ever existed!)

              Liked by 1 person

  6. We had various people – such as army specialist and indigenous teachers – come to Venturers to teach us a range of bushcraft and survival skills. And the scouting movement itself has a fair bit of tradition in that sort of thing, along with helpful handbooks.

    Sadly I never mastered the art of hand-held fire drilling despite repeated instruction and loads of practice, though years later I managed to get a blaze going with an improvised fire bow. The snare making stood me in good stead on my survival camp. Wild rabbit is yummy. There were also plenty of fresh water crayfish that couldn’t resist rabbit entrails. Sure beats what you get in the supermarket.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Won’t touch that discussion with a fifty foot pole. I am not vegetariarian, but for me the killing of any life is wrong, even for food. The thing is, whatever we eat, for the most part, was alive. To go even further, every cell of everything we survive on is alive or was very recently alive. We have only one other choice, to die of starvation. That is not natural.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It may not be natural, but it is the ultimate objective of Jainism.

      Jainism is probably the oldest surviving organised religion in the world and its morality centres on radical ahimsa (doing no harm). All Jains are vegetarian, though even tilling the soil is frowned upon due to its potential to kill worms, etc. Jain monks wear masks so they don’t accidentally inhale insects and carry whisk brooms to gently sweep in front of every step they take so they don’t step on living things.

      The aim of Jain practice – achieved by few – is to purify yourself of karma then carry out Sallekhana, the progressive abandonment of food and drink until you eventually lie out in a field and die of starvation or dehydration. In this way they finally escape the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

      I’ve known and greatly respected several Jains, but I can’t say I’ve ever been tempted to convert, despite thinking they’re probably the only advocates of ahimsa who practice what they preach.


      1. One problem with Jainism is not recognizing the fact plants are people too, And this is my problem with veggans and vegetarians. All beings are conscious and sentient in their own ways and abilities. Even bacteria and viruses. It is not possible to go through life with using other living beings as a source of sustenance. LIFE LIVES ON LIFE. Except for plankton, maybe (I am not a botanist), everything
        lives off material that was once alive. It is one of the damnedest oddities about life, and evolution. Some species somewhere should have learned to live entirely off non-living material (granite, iron, etc.) but to the best of my limited knowledge this has never happened.
        I tried to live on fruit, nuts, berries, and seeds for awhile — things that had never actually lived in the sense of being alive, though having the potential for life — but then I came to the conclusion that while they only held the potential for life, their individual cells were living beings themselves, no matter how well preserved in nature they might be. In my small mind, it is not possible to avoid killing something for so-called “higher life forms” to survive. Veggans and vegetarians are as much murderers as any carnivore or omnivore. They fool themselves if they think they are not. A true Jainist should never survive long enough to realize he or she is a Jainist, though it might be possible to survive for quite awhile on nothing but mother’s milk. Question, are there living cells in mother’s milk? You bet your goddammit life there are.


        1. The Jaina do see plants as sentient and even as capable of emotion. To them living is always a moral compromise forced upon beings by prior moral compromise (karma). That’s why the ultimate aim of Jainism is to extinguish your karma, then your life.

          Original Jainism had no germ theory so they didn’t know about microbes, but they knew about parasites of course. Even in cases when it’s possible to remove a parasite without directly harming it you’re separating it from it’s food source and doing violence to it. The important thing to Jaina is to acknowledge to yourself the suffering you inflict on other beings and not deaden your compassion towards them just because it hurts or makes you feel guilty.

          As far as eating plants goes, there’s always fruitarianism. Plants want you to eat their fruit. They invest a lot of energy into making it attractive to eat so you (or other animals) will. And a heck of a lot of things we generally call vegetables are actually fruits. Strict fruitarianism excludes seeds and nuts as they’re undeveloped plants. The downside is that you can’t get a balanced diet that way and fruitarians tend to have health problems. Kids on fruitarian diets end up with serious developmental issues. But a lot of adult fruitarians live long and reasonably healthy lives.


          1. I never looked that deeply into Jainism to learn that, so thank you. Whether it is scientific or not, I see fruits as the seed pods of living things that do not die after producing seeds. I guess you could say all perennialls are fruit-bearing-like beings to me. While annuals are like vegetable producers, they die once they take care of the next generation. Either way, they all live and die, just like us, though along their own timelines. No matter, I eat what I have to to survive, but I am aware beings have died for me to sutvive. If I have no reason to kill them, I don’t.


    2. The whole organism feeds on itself. That is how the game is played. It nurtures a tremendous range of emotions and actually is just the way things are. No need to underdo anything.


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