Originally Posted by rei
Well, I do not have any personal experience that would suggest hell is any objectively real place. That word wasn't even intended as such when the biblical texts were recorded. But the mind is powerful, it can create powerful things for itself - especially if it is channeling fear.
I guess you are suggesting that there must be some overarching continuity that allows for ultimate consistency... I think from the span of the cosmos, that exists, but from the span of individual beliefs from the view of the human mind, it is not necessarily apparent to us. Do you agree or disagree? Would you explain more about your apparent thinking that any inconsistency means something about the entire system? Or would you address the inaccuracy of that idea if I misinterpreted you?
So you seem to be in agreement that, as you put it, from the span of the cosmos, there is overarching continuity that allows for ultimate consistency.
The problem is, many different metaphysical viewpoints exist that each contend to be the overarching continuity. You make a number of such points yourself in your post, either directly or indirectly. Some of them are:
-It is about love.
-There is an originating energy that apparently has some sort of consciousness and you believe it can talk to yourself and others.
-Hell is not an objectively real place.
-Eternal punishment is unnecessary.
-The universe is not strictly materialistic.
-We are each here to have certain experiences.
A Muslim or a Christian may have a set of different beliefs that they also feel are that overarching continuity and not a mere individual impression.
-There is a god. Sometimes he gets jealous or angry or happy.
-If you don't believe in the right religion, you'll find yourself in hell.
-You live one life, and one life only, and then are "judged" by this external deity figure.
-The Qur'an is the literal and most important word of God.
-One must believe in the divinity and sacrifice of Jesus for salvation.
-Jesus is not divine and to believe that he is is blasphemous to Allah.
(these last few conflict, Christian/Muslim)
-There exists a devil that is in rebellion to god and he does bad things.
-The type of work you seem to do, like channeling spirits and such, is actually work from the demons and evil and is bad.
A Hindu or Buddhist may have a set of even different beliefs.
-Each person lives multiple lives, and Karma determines what they get based on what they have done.
-There is atman, ie each person is a soul that slips on different bodies like clothing.
-There is anatman, no true self. (these two conflict, Buddhist/Hindu)
-The ultimate end is to escape from the cycle of death and rebirth, either union with god (Hindu) or complete nirvana (buddhist)
A materialist may have a set of different observations.
-Studies of prayer have shown it to have no observable effect on reality.
-Looking through some of the above mentioned scriptures, many current beliefs are taken out of intended context, and religions build on one another over time. (Like Gehenna, Hades, Sheol, and grave all being translated as "hell", as you indirectly referenced in an earlier post.)
-Several deities have been believed in and then later forgotten about for the most part.
-The consciousness seems to be located wholly in the physical brain. Brain damage can erase memories. A stroke can utterly change someone's personality. The brain determines how intelligent someone is (brain damage can reduce intelligence, thought, ability to reason, etc.). If this is the case, it could be argued that a soul is irrelevant as all of our functions are already accounted for- intelligence, memories, personality, etc.
Given all of the above positions, and of course many more that are not listed, some of these statements are objectively false, and others may be objectively true. How does one determine which, is my question.
But my question doesn’t just pertain to the highest levels of truth, the overarching continuity. Even some of the smaller things I call into question and ask how we can determine something to be true or not- like whether a given seemingly supernatural experience is indeed supernatural or brought on strictly by brain chemistry.
“Are you saying there is not room for contradicting beliefs to coexist?”
“Would you explain more about your apparent thinking that any inconsistency means something about the entire system?”
It depends on the given belief or inconsistency.
If person A says, “all people live only one time and are judged” and person b says “all people live multiple times until they escape samsara”, then one or both is mistaken, either partially or completely.
If person A says, “all people that do not believe in religion ABC are punished by the creator deity, he told me this himself”, and person b says, “I talked to the creator deity also, and he says he doesn’t care what religion you are”, then one or both is mistaken, either partially or completely.
If person A says, “there is only material, nothing supernatural, and this is true for all people regardless of what they think is true in their heads” and person B says, “people that realize certain things have the ability to create what they want, have supernatural experiences, and so forth”, then one or both is mistaken, either partially or completely.
If even the simple building blocks of whatever the overarching continuity of the universe is cannot be objectively understood to be true or false, how can one come to understand for certain that overarching continuity? My question is how does one discern, objectively, the truth or falsehood of a given metaphysical claim.
Anyway, I am aware that is probably not the direction you wanted in a response, but that originating energy wanted to say that anyway. It wants to say more on it but I would like to respect the chosen boundaries for the conversation.
I don't mind the thread being diverted a bit if you feel that what you have to say is useful information.
Originally Posted by rei
Responding to the whole post, btw.
What do you have to lose by considering these things as possible? Not considering them as definitely true, just a place of neutral openness? What do you have to gain by keeping your existing perspective?
I think studies showing how certain regions of the brain can produce spiritual-like experiences doesn't negate the potential for authentic spiritual experience. It could be the intangible/metaphysical is reflected in the physical through those parts lighting up.
I’m not sure how you’ve concluded that my existing perspective is that no spiritual experience is authentic. That’s not what I’m asserting here. I am indeed open to the possibility of something supernatural existing. The fact that some mundane things can produce what can be seen as supernatural experiences does not negate the possibility that some of them are indeed real.
The point of the thread is simply to bring up the question of how a given metaphysical claim can be validated or rejected. The fact that SOME spiritual-like experiences can come from mundane origins begs the question of how, if someone happens to have a supernatural-like experience, can that person determine whether it was from a mundane origin or a supernatural one?
Then again, I also think the subtle signs of metaphysical experience are no less real just because they are not often as loud as the density of the physical. And I don't think they are any less real just because existing instruments don't tend to measure them very well or at all. I just have never really felt like I was being my best self when I adopted that type of attitude, it was not a good fit for me. But for some, for what they have chosen to experience here, it is perfect for them. Maybe this is exactly the attitude you have chosen for yourself. |
I prefer to be allowing about this sort of thing... if you are hoping to hear convincing arguments, I may not be the best person for that as I do not feel like I have a job to convince people about these things... I just share what I have come to understand about it.
Oh, and yeah I have had experiences - in waking consciousness, without drugs in my system. I had what might qualify as an experience earlier in this discussion when I happened to start sharing information that did not originate in my own individual mind. That energy wanted me to continue but I wanted to respect your chosen focus here. I did that in an entirely sane state of being, though, and not under hypnosis (I don't even go into a trance to communicate or have things communicated through me). And most of the experiences that happen in waking life, without drugs, are only subjectively meaningful... it is often not a booming voice in the sky that everyone else hears too. The vibrations involved seem to be finer, so it seems to be less about booming voices.
I do sometimes notice how a more right-brained approach seems to make these things easier. It is like the right hemisphere is naturally more inclined to notice connection. And the left hemisphere seems more naturally prone to create disconnection.
As earlier mentioned, you can add a tangent to the thread if you wish to. If you think there is something important to say then go ahead. Not everything has to be a direct answer to the OP question.