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Thread: Post Realizations From Your Personal Spiritual Journey

  1. #1
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Post Realizations From Your Personal Spiritual Journey

    ... or just post the story of your personal spiritual growth.

    While we have other more specific threads for discussion of this type of topic, this one is designed to be as broad and inclusive as possible. If you've had revelations that were meaningful to you personally, please share them. Or if there are paradoxes that you've struggled with, this is the thread.

    I'll post more in this thread later, but one source of information that was very transformative to me personally was The Golden Bough. I started reading the twelve volume version of this when I was 14 in a school library. It offered an amazing glimpse of the breadth of human religious experience throughout the world and through the ages. Umm ... it should be noted that a lot of what's in The Golden Bough isn't the most *accurate* information, anthropologically speaking, but it's written in a way that fiercely captivated my 14 year old imagination. It also put the idea in my head for the first time that there are hundreds and hundreds of different Gods and religions out there that people have believed in through history and belief in any of them is usually exclusive to the possibility that another one could be right. Probably they're just all wrong? I struggled with that through my teens but came to the conclusion that I wished Santeria or voudoun were real because being a bokor would be fucking awesome.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Bough
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    I have believed this for a very long time: If I hold my own life to be valuable and worth preserving then logically I must do the same for other people. There is nothing inherently special about me vis a vis the other seven billion except I happen to be me and so I should treat others as I would treat myself. All human life has potential I can't judge.

    I learned this somewhere early: Every group throughout history seems to have a mythology that defines them. Often this mythology is taken very seriously. Besides undermining taking all these mythologies literally, this implies the mythologies are more about groups than individuals. On the other hand, it seems very important for individuals to be part of a group, rather essential.

    Middle School: Negative treatment of others stems mostly from fear and insecurity. It is a sign of weakness.

    Thoreau and Walden: Question authority. Simplify to find out who you are.

    Allegory of the Cave: Most of what we strive for is not important when viewed from a different angle. We are slaves by default to our situation at birth and our senses.

    Post Allegory of the Cave (age 40): The Allegory is convenient. It allows feelings of superiority without need for proof. I see differently than you, therefore you are chained up and I am closer to the real sun. Either party can say this, and Plato admits as much when the person who escapes cannot convince those who are chained about reality. Perhaps the escapee has gone mad after all.

    Likewise, second guessing and could have beens are almost always pointless. If you 'do your best' to make rational decisions as you go along, you operate on the information you have. Alternate routes not taken may or may not be better, there is no way to know.

    Leading to life is like a Turing Machine. You can't predict when it will stop and you don't know what the program will spit out without running the program.

    Duality or Something (40): Every thought or idea seems to be a dipole, every yearning and every observation. 'Reality' is one, and in differentiating or highlighting something, a shadow is left. You can view the shadow as the highlight and the highlight as the shadow, its just perspective. Noticed this first in 'sayings' for which there are often other accepted 'sayings' which say the opposite. They contradict but both are true. This is evidence of one - but the one is tremendously boring at this stage of life.

    We are Machines (35-50): Nothing wrong with this. The perjorative comes from the machines we build are fragile and not terribly smart. Doesn't really change anything. In fact, being a machine is a good thing - a great thing if you worry about being overwhelmed by the newer models. There is no reason not to tamper with the hardware and firmware other than ignorance of consequence. There are plenty of possible volunteers. We can upgrade our culture and ourselves if we experiment small scale. We can run a lot of different programs.

    All the limitations of being human aren't fixed in stone nor is it wrong to overcome them. However, our mythology is generally obsolete for this task.

  3. #3
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    This is one of the critical realizations for me:

    Human beings cannot tell the difference between what they think is true/right and what is actually true/right.

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    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    Human beings cannot tell the difference between what they think is true/right and what is actually true/right.
    Subjectively speaking, why does it matter? And how do you know that this isn't just what you think is true universally, when it in fact only applies to you? I mean, how would you yourself know the difference? It seems like this is one of those philosophical statements that could lead you down some very pointless detours.

    Oh ... also, I don't know that this thread should involve people kicking the tires of other people's realizations. If you'd prefer that I not do that just say so and I'll stop.
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

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    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    I think it is universally true because the statement 'someone knows that what they think is true isn't true' makes no sense.
    It doesn't seem to lead to detours...
    ...it highlights one of the limits of thinking.
    ...it encourages a view of other people as basically innocent.
    ...it also encourages humility and open mindedness.
    ...it is also a good prompt for the question: "What do I think is true/right?"

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    In it to win it 99Problems's Avatar
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    Because I can. That's why I live and that's why I do what I do.

    I am not opposed to the idea of dying younger than of old age, I have to die one way or another. Quality of life is important to me.

    And that sums up my spiritual journey

  7. #7
    Shiny and New Charde's Avatar
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    Well, to knock it down to simple axioms that I've acquired through experience (without over-complicating it):

    1. There are no answers... only choices.

    2. Change, not constancy, is the norm. And in life, we either change or die. Corollary 1: We are constantly dying and being reborn, the "you" that you are today is not the "you" that you are tomorrow. Corollary 2: Don't get too attached to yourself.

    3. Since we all die one day anyway, why not take risks that allow us to live more contently and actively rather than trying to hindering our success hiding from injury?

    4. With relationships, when it all comes down to it, it matters less who agrees with you and more who is invested in (and stays with) you.

    5. Pain is just pain, and with it comes some of the best things in life.

    6. Talent without persistence runs a decent risk of failure; persistence on its own sometimes can outshine talent.

    7. Think long-term / big picture. Don't sell out your future for temporary success / relief / happiness.

    8. No one will save you, make you happy, or accomplish your dreams for you. Whatever your goals are, you need to take active steps to make them happen.

    9. You have to embrace both the Light and the Shadow to come into your power as a person. Power is a double-edged sword, but we cannot accomplish anything without it. Only children are innocent, but they also have no power to accomplish goals and influence the world.

    10. Holding grudges makes you a slave to your own bitterness.

  8. #8
    Tawaci ki a Gnaska ki Osito Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    I think it is universally true because the statement 'someone knows that what they think is true isn't true' makes no sense.
    Rob, that's completely incoherent. Perhaps you should rephrase it? I'm not sure what you're trying to get at but if you're using the notion that the opposite statement doesn't make sense, that's not evidence that your original statement possesses meaning. Think about that for a second.

    Also, people are definitely capable of doublethink or cognitive dissonance, whatever you want to call it. Yes, people believe in things they know to be false. Or at least they ignore evidence that flies in the face of their cherished notions.

    It doesn't seem to lead to detours...
    ...it highlights one of the limits of thinking.
    ...it encourages a view of other people as basically innocent.
    ...it also encourages humility and open mindedness.
    ...it is also a good prompt for the question: "What do I think is true/right?"
    So ... in other words you believe it because it's something you wish was true?
    "I don't have psychological problems." --Madrigal

    "When you write about shooting Polemarch in the head, that's more like a first-person view, like you're there looking down the sight of the gun." --Utisz

    David Wong, regarding Chicago
    Six centuries ago, the pre-Colombian natives who settled here named this region with a word which in their language means "the Mouth of Shadow". Later, the Iroquois who showed up and inexplicably slaughtered every man, woman and child renamed it "Seriously, Fuck that Place". When French explorer Jacques Marquette passed through the area he marked his map with a drawing of a brownish blob emerging from between the Devil's buttocks.

  9. #9
    Minister of Love Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    We are what we pretend to be.

    That which one hates, one tends to become.

  10. #10
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osito Polar View Post
    Rob, that's completely incoherent. Perhaps you should rephrase it? I'm not sure what you're trying to get at but if you're using the notion that the opposite statement doesn't make sense, that's not evidence that your original statement possesses meaning. Think about that for a second.
    *shrug* I find it meaningful...and I'm not really trying to provide evidence of anything. I offered my perspective on it. I think it is true, because it makes sense to me that it would be true.

    Also, people are definitely capable of doublethink or cognitive dissonance, whatever you want to call it. Yes, people believe in things they know to be false. Or at least they ignore evidence that flies in the face of their cherished notions.
    I was talking about thinking, not about believing.
    There is no way to tell the difference between the state where you're actually right, and the state when you just think you're right and you're not. If it were possible to tell the difference, one could opt never to be mistaken.

    So ... in other words you believe it because it's something you wish was true?
    No, you think things are true because you can't know what you don't know, especially when you don't know that you don't know.

    Anyhow, if the words are suggesting these things to you, I've either chosen them poorly, or you're reading something into them that's not intended. I hope I've described their intended essence better with the above response.

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