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Joshpantera last won the day on March 16

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About Joshpantera

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    surfing, paddle boarding, boating, fishing, musicianship, reading, philosophy, biblical criticism, comparative mythology and religion...
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    I was raised in a fundamentalist setting as a child and then went full atheist in my teens while off @ Christian boarding academy. I was very anti-theistic for years and then took interest in comparative mythology and religion and settled down a bit. I Never regained monotheism, instead I ended up rounding myself out as an agnostic-atheist with a philosophical pantheist leaning. My spiritual side is addressed to naturalism and the unity between man, earth, and cosmos as an interconnected whole. As for science, I support it completely.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    Not this, not that

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  1. There's a sign on the side of road down here that reads, "all who call on the name of Jesus will be saved." But what is that name? For starts, it's Joshua or Yahshua, sometimes rendered Yeshua. And it means, "Yahweh saves / Yahweh is Salvation." So by calling on a name that means the old testament god Yahweh saves, the claim is that we'll be saved. But the old testament god Yahweh was basically a pagan god from the outset. He was mixed up with the Elohim pantheon of many gods, something we discuss here quite often concerning the evolution of god and monotheism. So this claim requires some more depth than just taking it at the surface levels of consideration. Do you feel that an ancient pantheon god with roots in pagan polytheism will save you from anything? And what about the gods that came before Yahweh, like El Elyon the most high god who was originally the supreme god before later getting swept aside by Yahweh? At the bottom of it all, is a claim that you'll be saved by a mythological god, in a mythological story line setting. Deeper down, accepting this as mythology there's one more consideration. Jesus could represent humanity at large and symbolize how a human being is part of the whole, or a son of god. And that in realizing that you're basically an interconnected aspect of the whole, you are saved from the ignorance of thinking otherwise. You share in the eternal aspect of the god in that you share in the existence of the whole, which is where eternity, infinity, omnipresence and the like are all to be located. It's a very mystical suggestion, by this measure of understanding. And perhaps that's how people once took it, in the early times before literalistic interpretation over took the belief system. It's hard to pin that down, but it seems possible. In short, most people are looking in the wrong direction when looking for salvation, through Jesus' name. And very little of it makes any sense until you get down to the mystical realization I've described above. But it's not literal, in terms of your current ego consciousness living on forever in a magical place because you called on the "name" of a twice handed down mythological god who started out pagan and polytheistic. It can be symbolic for coming into accord with the eternal aspect of anything in existence.
  2. Another thing is that Campbell mentioned mythology as related to biology, as in the internal workings and conflicts between organs coming out in myth. That's where is gets into Freud and Jung and works the psychology angle. Ultimately that's another focus on within, in a literal sense.
  3. I've been through most it. Will have to finish later. Pretty good interview so far.
  4. Ok, so what then is perfect about the message of salvation? Do you have any thoughts on that?
  5. This is a general point, for perhaps new exchristians wondering what's what, and how things break down. Don't try replacing belief and faith in religion for belief and faith in science. Good point. The only real problem here that BAA has been able to hone in on is the idea that both sides need to bring "proof." The semantic issues of using the word "proof" as technically a reference to the maths, and also what the Dude means by his usage of the word "proof", which is credible evidence, finality, something of that nature. What other context can his usage of "proof" can be taken? To correct the point being made by the Dude, I'd say only one side needs to "prove" themselves and that's religion. The person making positive claims of absolute truth bears what we call, all the time, "the burden of proof." Let's not get too side tracked here on semantics and taking issue with the word "proof" as a type or red herring to the points being made. What we're talking about is the "burden of proof" requirement, so shall we call it as such? Religion carries this "burden of proof" requirement. Science, however, not so much. Claims are made based on available evidence, and also subject to change. It's fluid, not rigid like religion. The "burden of proof," is squarely a theistic burden. And perhaps that's simply another reason not to approach science as if it were a replacement for religion. Science doesn't carry the sort of "burden of proof" for the BBT, that religion carries for claims of supernatural "creation." BAA's point holds in terms of science and religion not being on equal footing, and also, that any attempt at putting science and religion on equal footing will have holes in it. Where they're similar is simply that each claims to explain reality. And the reality explained by religion has been failed for centuries. It's not even in the ball park. It's acting as if it's still a contender when it isn't. That leaves the only contender as science. It's literally the only contender when it comes to describing reality. The idea that religion is even in the game, is completely false. And it doesn't matter how many people are fooled by religions false claims at being a contender in the game of describing reality. It just isn't anymore. And this is what I just explained to my father the other weekend when he expressed doubt about evolution. I set him straight on the fact of there being only one option on the table to try and describe origins. He was a little taken back, and deer in the headlights, but understood that I was right. Myths which are demonstrably not literal, automatically drop off the contender list. They're something else, not literal reality. And this is a very important point for exchristians to sink their minds into. One option, not two. From here, at only one real option for describing reality, I can concede that the Dudes point would lead to acknowledging that our one and only option has limitations that keep us in mystery, possibly perpetually. The best thing that we do have is a frame work of pretty certain things, with good evidence to go on, and many not so certain things. That's why when it comes to origins I always refer to it as an ongoing mystery. My truth seeking has led me to acknowledge mystery and uncertainty as the final absolute truth. Because of the apparently perpetual issue of ultimate truth eluding our ability to conceive. That's unsatisfactory for some people, who have not made friends with uncertainty. But the truth is the truth, you can not like it but what you can not do is change it. And so the challenge to go ahead and try to change that fact ought to be made as often as people doubt the absolute truth of uncertainty. So this whole thing has been a good exercise. And since BAA concedes to uncertainty at absolute levels, it would appear that this is a firm, firm point. All else thereafter is beating a dead horse.
  6. Then the guy flips out when BAA asked him for references to the christians forums? WTF again?
  7. Why do you keep casting aside this interconnected vision of reality? Do you not see it that way? I was following you, up until you mentioned "emotional attachments", then I lost your train of thought. Our emotional attachments begin at the physiological level. I am physically attracted to my husband, which reinforces my feeling of a connection to him, and therefore my emotional attachment. I have biological kinship with my parents, my brother and sisters, which reinforce my feeling of a connection to them, decreasing in emotional attachment the further away from my own genetic code and social circle I believe them to be. My children are my genetic progeny, which reinforces my feeling of a connection to them as probably the strongest emotional attachment of all. From there my feeling or awareness of a connection decreases according to the social, cultural, political and religious constructs that might form my world view. I can feel less connected to a Catholic family living in Lebanon than I do to the Lebanese family that runs my favourite pizza shop. In the universe as it is, though, I know that the connection still exists equally at all of these levels. As you say, it is our perception or awareness of that interconnection based on physiological, social, cultural or religious feeling that keeps us from an accurate experience of the universe. The moment that emotional attachment or feeling changes or disappears, our perception of the connection changes - if that feeling is all we see of the connection, then there is potential for damage. The connection remains, whether you acknowledge it or not, but it can be obscured now by fear, pain, anger, regret or despair. In our avoidance of this fear or pain, we deny the connection in our mind. Marriage, therefore, for better or worse, demonstrates our awareness of a lasting connection between two people that goes beyond biology, emotional attachment or feeling connected on a physiological, social or ideological level. It is a small-scale model for our universal connection with everyone else. But that's another discussion, I think. All of the above is me talking about conclusions drawn from primal, or fundamental level interconnection - such as existence itself interconnecting everything in existence, as unified and as one whole. This is pantheist philosophy. The eastern concept of ripples on the surface of a pond is a good one. Still the surface, and what appears to be discrete and separate are then dissolved into one substance. Into one undifferentiated whole. While rippled it appeared as this or that "form" or "image," but stilled, this or that "form" or "image" was illusory in terms of it's separateness or discreteness. It was all the while, at the very bottom, simply the substance of existence itself, interacting with itself, and experiencing in all of the emotions involved in the interaction. The appearance of living and dying, all appearances being illusory in that specific way. Nothing actually sprung to life out of nowhere, and nothing actually died into into absolute nothingness. That's the direct connection to what is essentially eternal. If we're to try and pin point a rational idea about what an eternal soul means, in myth, I'd say that it's the part of everything which is simply the everlasting fabric and structure of existence itself, which can have no beginning or end. Our connection to that, is the only logical eternal connection I can see. And we all have it, that direct connection to the eternal, regardless of any and all efforts made on our part. Again, seeing the eternal shinning through even the most dark, horrific, and vulgar, as well as the most light, beautiful, and proper is high level enlightenment. How many people struggle to attain that honest of an admission? I don't find it offensive. And perhaps we ought to be bringing potentially hard hitting scenarios like that because it seems relevant to the insight, and perhaps embracing a deterministic universe as it is. If you want to dive deep like that, then let's go ahead and put molestation on the chopping block too. Exactly what molested what? These deeper realizations don't fair well in terms of scaring people not to do things that we find offensive, and in some way the deeper insight seems like it can be used to excuse just about anything. I think that's why the ancient mysteries were concealed and kept under disciple and control. The deeper mysteries seem to have the ability to both raise up, and also completely unravel our moral sensibilities, at the same time. Because everything's interconnected and whole we can love our neighbor, as ourselves because "I and other are one." But at the same time, and also because everything's interconnected and whole, it doesn't really matter if you love or hate your neighbor in the grand scheme - regardless, it boils down the same way when the ripples on the surface of the pond have been stilled. The love and hate were more or less illusory. Different looking ripples, same exact pond the whole time expressing itself through the ripples. Down here, at this level of fundamental interconnection, is where I was addressing our "emotional attachments." And you'll find that when we're emotional about something, it's because we've disengaged the 'consciousness' of fundamental underlying interconnection (FUI). If we put those FUI googles on, even the most horrific things also dissolve into the still pond. We were the thing we feared and hated all along. We were the thing we loved all along. This is very clear in Sanskrit, "tat tvam asi." Thou art that. That's what identifying with the totality entails. And it's our perceptions of reality that keep us seeing in terms of discrete and isolated "things," out there. It looks as if we're here and everything else is out there and not all simply the fabric of existence (still pond) underlying the existence of everything perceived (surface ripples). Beneath all of those perceptions of separateness is the realm of existence itself, interacting with itself, all the time, and necessarily eternally. And that's where things like a cosmological model about infinite replication and things of that nature falls under. That's from where determinism proceeds out of the eternal expanse. I had a lovely time with a women, it was essentially existence itself interacting through the both of us. I also had a terrible time with a woman, down right evil in perception, and that too was essentially existence itself interacting through us. Experiences were experienced. Emotions were involved in the experiences. Some felt favorable, others felt unfavorable. We were in some way a medium for consciousness to experience as it all unfolded. Who am I to judge what's really going on here below the surface level? Finally, after all of that philosophy, have we come to a very sensible application for, "judge not others, lest you be judged." And it pretty much works across the board for all of the sayings attributed to christianity, which were in fact never original to christianity, but are the products of mythological imagination and idealistic goal setting taking in by christianity. But we've only reached something this potentially sensible after having faced the "dark side" of interconnection on the way down here, and saying yes to it, before moving forward. At least I've said yes to it all. I'm not sure if you still feel so resistant to doing so?
  8. Of course, but that's besides the point I was making. It doesn't matter to the point I was making that we also have a spiritual dimension in edition to animal instincts, we're consuming and destroying entities regardless of our spiritual capabilities and higher levels of intelligence. Looking toward the higher levels doesn't some how trump the point being made, clearly. What does interconnection have to do with this? All of the consuming and destroying is being done by the same thing, looking at itself as "other." Do you see how the above doesn't really apply to the point I was making? We operate with higher levels of intelligence, of course, and yet we're still consuming and destroying entities that can't be any other way, regardless of our intelligence. You seem resistant to the point itself. Let's see why. The flow that I understand, is a flow that operates completely on it's own with or without human existence. Life has been persistent, very persistent. There's a flow of life and it's tough, tough to stop. Imagine all of the things that could have or should have ended life, but didn't. If we're talking a replicated universe, that's probably why there's a strong flow in the direction of persistent life, and regardless of human existence. And the intelligent life is part of that flow, but not the thrust of it. This would seem to be something that plays out over and over again. Whether intelligent life destroys the earth or saves it, I guess depends on how reality is determined to unfold in that heavily deterministic scenario. It's interesting to contrast ideas against deterministic replication. What's obvious here is that the heavy duty deterministic views, put a damper on people trying to rally everyone to a cause. It seems that those who want to rally a cause sort of depend on everyone thinking that they have the free will to actually change anything in ways that weren't predetermined to begin with. So determinism, at first glance, may seem like a party pooper. And again, the general affirmation attitude of saying yes to life, is in accord with as heavy a deterministic universe we can imagine. I've come into a situation where I've been shown the mind set that my ex-wife was in, an unhappy one. Frustrated. And what goes into that from a female point of view. And I have actually seen this now from what would have been very similar to my ex-wife's perspective. And I've told the other women who's experiencing something very similar, that now seeing it from another point of view, I can release what has happened much more easily. I can actually say that the horrors of what happened was a case of reality balancing itself out, as ugly as it was. The light in the darkness, the positive in the negative - is that we were both unhappy and more or less settled. All of the shit that went down was reality shifting around and rearranging. I wound up in a nice situation, recently. Real nice. There's some reprieve on the horizon. And it's the sort of reprieve that'll get me rethinking everything and letting go of attachments to certain negativity that I've previously held on to - even in the face of my familiarity with the deeper philosophical depths. The simple answer, is that you affirm the world as it is, first and foremost, then your participation in the world thereafter consists of seeing what's happening for what it is, rather than thinking that it's something that it isn't. The above will only die off on it's own accord, considering that it will die off. And because of the factors in play. It's dying generation to generation. It's loosing ground due to the internet, basically. Because of very open conversations like the ones we have around here. And what ever happens, is just what happens as the natural unfolding of reality. I can't very well claim that christians are exempt from world affirmation, nor Hitler or anything else you view as dramatic that you may raise. And that's why I've not claimed that christians or any one else is excluded from affirmation. They have every right to exist, and to be affirmed in that respect. I say to the debates. The natural flow of existence, in the deep sense, chooses to keep me in the game so to speak. Do I choose that, or has it been chosen for me? And whether or not anything continues or ceases is entirely up to the unfolding of reality, perhaps to the extent of a replication process that gives us all of the players in the game, and the outcome of that game. Affirmation goes deep down. Seems like a bottomless pit, really. What do you think, considering every other answer I've given you so far? Affirmation can include, going off to war. Saying yes to life in what ever way. Participating in it. It's not about with drawing from life and it's circumstances. That's negation. I was talking about instinct, the instinctual reaction to fight off something trying to eat or kill you. The affirmation part is your participation in the game. So how does that participation in the game, saying yes to it, not involve going with the flow? The flow pulls me out to sea. Predators are there. I say yes to it, anyways. As the flow continues, I may come face to face with a predator, I say yes to that as well. I would say I choose for myself, but we're way past that now, a deterministic universe chooses my actions in the face of danger and there's a lag time between choice and conscious action, which comes out, naturally, as defensive and / or aggressive. And an outcome will follow. The flow continues. The whole time it's been nothing but going with the flow, which could at any point end badly. There's no rule saying the flow will always be pleasurable. But going with the flow anyways. Not stressed about it. Having fun. Accepting out comes and moving forward. 'Saying yes to life.' This is a staple part of Joseph's Campbell's discourse, but of course excluding the part about modern cosmological theory. I've just put it up against the established philosophy of affirmation. And your resistance exemplifies the sort of resistance that is found in world mythology between diverse cultures. Your issues with affirmation, the way you try and bring it down, are identical to the way in which a christian will respond to things like eastern mysticism, pantheism. They'll get lost in the fact that you can not very well rally a call against the forces of perceived darkness, from an enlightened point of view. And then they become frustrated, and lash out trying to dominant the eastern affirmation or pantheistic view. I'm talking about letting go of it all, before picking back up and moving forward.
  9. The whole thing is bizarre. A semi-christian shows up here looking for people who put the law of attraction into practice? WTF?
  10. A good image here would be awareness rising up from more primitive forms at lower levels in nature, experiencing for a time, and then receding back down the scale again. That would summarize the birth through death process of intelligent life forms. The awareness is coming out of the natural universe itself, experiencing on every level of experience through the chain of awareness, and retracting back inward. Now this strongly plays off of the inward journey aspects coming from mythology and mysticism. Campebell lectured that Jesus ascending is not to be viewed as going out into space, but rather in the sense of the mystical inward journey of going within. That illustration I've given is exactly the notion of such an inward journey. Both really, the journey outward, and then the return. It lines up to the Heroes Journey. And it may assume that mystics have understood this for thousands of years. Although they could not have mapped it out against the sub atomic realm in the way I was doing. So it's sort of eastern mystical, but not entirely. And of course to the purpose of taking the New Age head on, eastern mystical ideas go with the territory in any case, so it seems fair game.
  11. This all looks agreeable to me. Going on the assumption that there's something we ought to do. And this seems like an interesting direction for inquiry. Could we gain knowledge of the blue print of replication, even if the replications are too far away to come into contact with? That seems like a good direction for sci-fi in any event. Thanks for clearing that up. That's where, for instance, if I'm sitting on my board like a sitting duck target, which is what I am out in the ocean, my gut instinct is to kick the shit out of a shark that comes up for a bump / taste, is a survival oriented instinct. I don't freeze up, I become counter aggressive and wrapped up in the second to second consciousness of survival. And that's fine and well because the end result is not rallying a shark cull, but living to surf another day and if anything, teaching the shark a lesson about bumping surfers. Surfers / prey have the ability to fight back. The shark will realize that, as it can with seals, with the predatory consciousness it is experiencing. They learn from encounters with prey. There's a balance taking place between predator and prey. And I'm well within reason in terms of naturalism and conservation from this stand point. It's the over reaction of culling, that breeches reason here and I agree with you. Mainly because if western Australia is that unsafe, either (1) don't take the risk of entering the ocean food chain, or (2) move to another location which is much lower in risk. It's tourism and surfing tourism that likely drives the force of the shark cull. It's financial decision making at the expense of the natural order. But as I'll go into, even that is questionable in terms of what exactly we do or need not do to the natural order. Obviously our choices seem predetermined for a number reasons, not limited only to infinite replication. We think we're making them in the moment, but we're actually always legging behind, as Harris discussed in the video. I agree with BAA in that we likely have to proceed as if they are free will choices, even if they're not - just for peace of mind. It's just fun to toy around with looking at things without the "free will" goggles on to see what it looks it. And perhaps saying yes, to whatever the implications entail. Either way, though, the point here is that we're consuming and destroying entities. We're an aspect of the earth itself, and the space it exists within the material of our bodies, which in total is a consuming and destroying life aspect of the earth itself. Without consuming and destroying, eating food, we wind down and cease the experience of life. And the earth tends to always balance itself out with all this consuming and destroying taking place, one way or another. What else are you going to do but go with the flow? Are you going to change the flow? If so, how are you going to do that? Now you've jumped over to world restoration ideas, not exactly, but in the general direction of thinking there's something that needs to be done. Which is the basis for the zoroastrian, jewish and then christian concepts of trying to restore the world to perfection. The discourse from affirmation is that you'll not change the world. That task is like a dog chasing it's own tail around in circles. It may pay off to consider the previous questions. Your ideas have not been precisely Jain, or precisely Zorastrian, but they're similar in that they go in negation and now restoration directions, as those mythologies have done. And that's where the conflict is at. I'm sticking to an affirmation based world view in the face of these negation and restoration oriented directions you've raised. That's rubbed you wrong. But let's move along though. That must be because you're having thoughts that are close to, but not exactly, negation and restoration. For instance, you don't think that the world was created perfect and needs to be restored to it's perfect condition, like the zoroastrians and judeo-christians. But at the same time you feel like the world needs to be worked at in some ideal direction. And that's the real meat of the restoration ideas. I'm just using these terms in the way that some one would use a term like "agnostic" simply to refer to some case of "not knowing." I'm agnostic when it comes to the historical existence of Jesus. The context is clear in such an instance. I don't know if he ever really existed as one fixed man. The context that I used "restoration" and "negation" may not have been that clear. But that's the context in which I was using the terms - as needing to fix up the world, or needing to reject it. At the bottom of it all, what are we? When you say that it is our connection that endures, I can take that to mean we are existence itself. That which 'connects everything' into unity, wholeness, and that which never began and will never end. That's a nice and neat little package, wouldn't you say? Regardless of our perceived births and deaths, we've been the fabric and structure of existence itself all along, to loosely quote Alan Watts. Again, what has died? The existence, or connecting factor underlying the rising and falling of perceivable forms and images in space and time, never really went anywhere. The consumed and the consumer, were interconnected and whole all the while. Like the image of the tail biting serpent entails. The emotional attachments and concerns speak directly to our perception of an interconnected unity as NOT really interconnected. Why negate the world? Well, if you cast aside the interconnected vision of reality, you may think in those terms of Jain - like thoughts. Why restore the world? Well, if you cast aside the interconnected vision of reality, then you may think there's something that needs to be done, as christians do. What if there really isn't? What if it's going along exactly as it ought to be? And will always balance itself regardless of our interceding efforts? Then you simply affirm the world, as it is. You trust, in a way, that things are as they ought to be, and will always be so.
  12. They'd (Mithraism) bath in the blood of a sacrifice. I don't know if that's where they were tying the Eucharist in or not. It's obvious enough the point they were making, though. It wasn't Jewish at all to emulate drinking blood, or sacrificial blood. It was mystery school oriented. And that's what seems obvious to me. Christianity was another edition to mystery school content. That's why it copies so many things. It's one of those things. Or at least it was. It seems like they were persecuted for profaning the ancient mysteries to the public. That was a capital punishment issue. And they really were profaning the solar mysteries when you look at it closely. My thoughts have been that a heavy emphasis away from the mystical and Gnostic, to the orthodox, may have been as simple as a way of obscuring the solar mysteries by putting the focus on literal and historical interpretations, thereby changing the presentation to exoteric. If a big stink was caused by profaning the solar mysteries, but then a strong emphasis was put on reading the symbols exoterically, literally and historically, then the meanings of the symbols are more or less concealed from the general public. And in time it would have been viewed as acceptable enough to make an empire wide religion. From this view, as christianity went around the world over taking the pagan cultures and their mythologies, and incorporating them into christianity, via saint hood and all else mentioned, they were at the same time taking everyone else's ancient mysteries and concealing them as well. All under the cloak of christianity. Something to think about.
  13. Around 13:00 they start going into the astrological symbolism, which I've been calling attention to lately. Quite interesting at 18:54. This goes back to what I've mentioned about the astronomer priests being right on top of which constellation the sun was rising into during the spring religious festivals following the vernal equinox, which is pass over. So all of the messanic expectation hinges around this model where the Great Year was ending, and then starting over again. The starting over again occurred when sun began rising into the constellation of Pisces at the vernal equinox. The oldest christians symbolism hinges around the Fish. The oldest iconography of the cross, is of lamb on the cross or a blank cross. Just like Mithraism showing the slain bull of the former age, christianity showed the lamb on the cross of the zodiace, representing the exact same thing by way of astrological symbolism. It was quite frankly, a mystery school and new age religion.
  14. I'm a class of 95' Gen-Xer. Played in Grunge bands in high school and all. Here's a gem from the past. I remember romancing girls to tunes like this: