I wanted to follow up on my short comment of this Sunday, when I only had 15 minutes at the SFPL.
However, I ran into problems navigating the long thread of our discussion under the subject heading "Why the cover up?"which you picked originally.
So I decided to start a new thread in continuation of the old, a re-formation of the old thread, you might say--a fresh beginning, based on an aging, apparently diseased and dysfunctional thread--dysfunctional perhaps because of its palimpsestuous qualities, in the same manner that doctrinally inherited points of views also tend to become dysfunctional with age because of chance mutations or deliberate palimpsestuous coverups. When someone puts a dark or darkened sheet of glass in front of you, you will be only able to see through that glass darkly, inaccurately, or not at all.
The most famous palimpsest in history may well be that Christian prayer book written over an erased scientific text of Archimedes, generally referred to as the Archimedes Palimpsest
It is sometimes better to be blind then to be deluded by misperceptions. When you are blind, you tend to know you are blind. When you see things through a darkened glass, maybe one with dark ale in it or something like that, or a glass with gross distortions or even minor imperfections in it, perhaps a glass filled with hell rather than dunkel, you may be lulled into thinking that you know what is happening on the other side of the glass and base your actions on that faulty information rather than on accurate information, or the accurate understanding that you simply don't know and cannot know what is on the other side.
You may hear voices or receive written messages that tell you in words what is going on over there, but you have to have faith in these spoken or written words to give you a sense of security that they are trustworthy. The information gained from the words and the faith you put in them will undoubtedly give you a sense of security if the message is a benign one. But how bening is a message that condemns the great majority of human beings to eternal damnation? How good a spell is that to fall under?
Well, you might reply, everyone is offered a chance to save themselves by accepting the message on faith--and if they choose not to, too bad for them--I'll be fine anyway, my own soul will be saved for all eternity--and you might even say to yourself: how happy and blissful a state to be in forever!--Wow! I simply can't wait!
My question to you is: how happy and blissful a state is that to be in for ever? A state of bliss based on a distorted message, inducing the spell or trance of an egoic awareness of being with the hope for individual salvation of the soul or relationship leading to an egoistic, or selfish concept of bliss.
Notice that I am putting it in the form of a question only you can answer for yourself, but what I hear many preachers in all three Semitic, and many other conventional religions suggest to the people in their flock is: enjoy that exclsuvely bestowed bliss stewed in the juicy gravy of malicious joy, schadenfreude--leedvermaak, or in Greek, Hellenike Glotta: epikhairekakia ἐπιχαιρεκακία - Wiktionary -- in the way Jonah once sat in the shade of his fig tree awaiting the destruction of Assyrian Nineveh with malicious joy, leedvermaak, schadenfreude or epikharikakia: St. Thomas Lutheran Church - Bloomington, IN Sermon for January 22 ...
Hellenike Glotta, 'Greek Language' by the way happened to be the name of my Greek Grammar, mijn Griekse Spraakkunst when I attended gymnasium at the Groen van Prinstererlyceum in Vlaardingen:
So anyway, Matt, let me get back on track here--Was that the coverup you were referring to? If so, I have an answer that I can offer. If not, please let me known what coverup you meant to refer to in the original subject heading.
I just realized that I forgot to send what I wrote last night:
I'm not really following the significance of being/awareness/relationship concept, but if you keep running it by me it may eventually become somewhat coherent in my brain. Maybe you could explain to me why (as you appear to believe) the strong stance against individuality is necessary.
John: Hi Matt--I have a limited time at the SFPL so let me answer one paragraph at the time--thanks for giving me the opportunity:
For the same reason that we must realize, that when we speak of or see an individual wave, or an individual drop of water in the ocean, the real truth is that the wave and the drop are only there in a conceptual sense, not in any absolutely real sense. The only absolute truth, or reality, the ultimate and only reality is God, if you want to put that human, English name to it, or Allah, if you want to put a human Arabic name to it, Deus Latin, Theos Greek, Bag Russian, etc. etc. Human names are convenient handles to manipulate the flowing or spiritual energies (elohim in Hebrew, also a plural word) Spirit refers to the flow of breath--that very breath of the elohim which Genesis says was blown into the nostrils of Adam--'the first truly human being'--by which I understand, or rather suggest we could understand, a hominid who has begun to think and speak conceptually. Con = together; cept =captus, the first human being is our first ancestor who took a bit of flowing energy and kept it together like you might grab some water, sand or clay and give it a name, to use as a conceptual brick for the purpose of constructing conceptual edifices--such as ideological structures or doctrinal strcutures, which give us a sense of control over the flow of energies, i.e. gives us a sense of security, just as a material structure provides us with shelter against the elements. I will follow up.
Matt: the word/faith/love concept, I would say that words, faith, and love are not just received by us, but also distributed by us and exercised by us.
John: Faith and love are not just concepts, Matt--unlike words, you can feel or experience faith and love--but how do you feel or experience a word--unless the word induces a feeling or experience, such as faith, or love.
If I say to you the words geloof or liefde, tro or kärlek, can you feel anything? Can they induce any experience in you at all--other than at most indifference or puzzlement?
In Dutch geloof means faith, liefde means love.Tro and kärlek are the Swedish equivalents.
But if you play music, while the word music is a concept, the music itself is not. Faith and love are words, and as words they are concepts, but faith and love themselves are not.
Or are they? That's actually a good question. What westerners feel when they experience love is not identical to what non-westerners feel. Even among westerners, what anyone feels when they say I feel love is really very individual--just watch the Jerry Springer show some day when you are really bored.
Agape is not the same as amor, philia or eros. They all are forms of love--different kinds of love, liefde, kärlek or amour--in different levels and regions or times of awareness and being. At the higher levels, love approaches agape, divine love, everywhere and all times--at lower levels, there is eros, erotic love, variant in different times and places. At yet a lower level, love manifests as lust--physical attraction, the electro-magnetic attraction, chemical attraction or bonding, molecular attraction or bonding, gravitational attraction, the attraction or bond of the weak and the strong forces and so on.
You might check the following website for a discussion of different historical and cultural concepts of love:
John: There is of course also negative attraction or repulsion--a denial of love. I suppose much can be said about that as well--but not for now, for I have to get me to the Venue Cafe for some bonding with Brahm over a cup of Sumatra.
Matt: Words do transfer information, but what does that information do? It provides the reason for faith--therefore, true faith must be based on actual information (not just ideas in our heads).
John: OK, I have refueled myself on the caffeine draft at the Venue and am typing this now in Brahm's office--so let me continue:
Ideas are always in our head, Matt--I mean, where else would they be? I don't agree with Platonic idealism, although you could of course construct a whole doctrinal ideological and even religious structure out of that--in your head. Here's an interesting website on the subject:
Matt: Faith can bring a sense of security, but when faith is tested, the sense of security disappears. This is when the power of true faith comes to light: we fear, but we stand firm anyway--in spite of our feelings of insecurity.
John: You only feel insecure when your faith is weak. That weakness is where the insecurity comes from--not from a strong faith. If your faith is weak, maybe you need to check out the formulation of that faith, to make it stronger and more functional.
Matt: Just as true faith comes from true information, true love comes from true faith. We cannot truly love someone unless we first of all have faith that our love will accomplish something. And we cannot truly have faith unless we have evidence (information) that our beliefs are true.
John: If you have evidence, Matt, then why would you need belief, or faith? You have 'hard facts'--but the question then is: what do you mean by a 'hard fact?' Sounds to me a form of materialism again. Unless you are talking of something that is self-evident and no one could argue with, not even your average little green men from the Andromeda galaxy--as long as they happened to be some kind of rational, reasonably aware non-human beings.
Matt: Love can bring with it a state of bliss, but it comes out of faith--and therefore often involves a state of insecurity. Because of this, it can also be heart-wrenchingly painful--even if the love is mutual.
This painful side of love is what I feel when I write to you, and I imagine that you feel it too when you write to me.
John: Ouch! Here you hit the nail on the head, Matt. Love is not the same as bliss. Love always implies pain in the manifest reality, where not all is well, whereas bliss transcends everything, including love and pain.
Matt: This is the same pain that Jesus Christ experienced as he prayed before his crucifixion. This pain was not just the result of the love between Jesus and his Father but also the result of the love between Jesus and us.
John: That's a good way to express it from a Christian point of view--in Christian language, using Christian concepts, Christian conceptual bricks. And of course in English.
I would say that we desperately do need this painful bliss called love--and we only need enough faith to inspire love, only enough information to inspire faith.
Good night, John.
In the love of Christ,
John: I can feel your love and your pain in your words, Matt--and I share it with you when I write--but bliss transcends love and pain--it does not exclude it--but transcends it, goes beyond all divisions--it gives us the peace that passes all understanding and all doctrines.
I need to finish up for now, but I feel that our correspondence now has gotten to the point where I would like to publish it on my Socraticus website, if that is alright with you.
Now I have to go home and gloat on the fact that Obama will be our next president--since I am sure the decision on the democratic nomination will come this week and it is a foregone conclusion that the candidate will be Barack--and I am furthermore convinced that he will also be the winner in November--I mean, America is overdosing on publican scandals--I can barely stand it anymore...al those publican
scandals du jour--schandalen van de dag.
I still hope Clinton will be on his ticket, or otherwise, I hope it will be Biden--who seems to have been in hiding for quite a while now--a bit strange given is ordinary prominence on the Hill and in public life, and perhaps an indication that there was secret understanding and Biden is actually prpearing for the November campaign. That would by great, for I always liked and respected Biden.
His son, the current Delaware AG might make a fantastic replacement in his father's senate seat as well.
With that thought, Matt, let me allow this flow.