Joshpantera

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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...
  • More About Me
    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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  1. @TrueScotsman I just want to take on the second part here as well. I should point out that what people like Peter Russell are suggesting is that consciousness in human beings consists of this underlying, inherent sense of awareness in nature itself, and also the mechanical workings of the brain and it's thought processes. In fact, his meditation outlook consists of simply quieting the mind and taking notice of the stream of thoughts that the brain is constantly running through itself. There's the process of thoughts running on and on, and there's the underlying awareness which observes the thought process. In fact Sam Harris is very big on this as well. They both cut all of the bullshit out of eastern mysticism, and focus only on what Harris refer's to as, "a diamond at the bottom of a dung pile." And that diamond is the underlying awareness existing below the level of thought process, basically. Understanding this, all of the above falls in line with that context. We don't see the underlying unity factors. Because of our evolutionary survival instincts. We see separateness in competition for survival. But time and again, we can penetrate to depths where separateness begins to dissolve, which, is the mystical realization that some human beings have come to in their own different ways of realizing it or perceiving it. Brain scans, studies on buddhist monks, working out which part of the brain function is used during transcendent experiences, etc. etc., is often used as a way of trying to refute religious claims these days. But they miss a big part of the point. And fall short in terms of refuting these religions in more powerful ways of refutation. They are essentially still very short sided in the grand scheme and don't manage to address anything other the mechanistic brain function of the animal, which is the steady stream of thoughts always running through the animals brain. You have to look below those levels, to the underlying awareness of awareness itself. I've gone over some Deepok Chopra lectures about nothing really existing and everything being inside of the mind. Deepok then will conclude that everything is even in terms of describing reality, no advantage of science over religion. So none of it matters. I can say that what I'm talking about and what Peter Russell is talking is very different from Deepok is suggesting. We are suggesting that something does exist outside of our individual minds, and that we do perceive what does exist outside of our individual minds. It's just that our minds interpret what does exist, and is perceived, in ways that fall short of what the existing thing actually is in reality. Our consciousness is interpreting something outside of ourselves that does exist. And by outside of ourselves I mean outside of our 'centralized point of awareness' looking out at existence. A lot of the New Age stuff over shoots the issue of human perception too far and misses the mark, in my opinion. And after watching many interviews from Peter Russell he seems to agree with that analysis. What this boils down to according to what I've laid out previously, is that I think awareness emerges upon the establishment of a centralized point from which an awareness of any surroundings can take place. Without any centralized point from which to receive energy and information, according to this speculation, there's nothing to be aware of and no way to be aware of it. So blank space without any particles existing = no awareness of anything by default. Now where Deepok and Russell seem to agree is that they think we exist in a consciousness field, or field of awareness. And that field of awareness is the ground of all being. And that awareness scales up from a fundamental field level to the material world where we are experiencing it. This seems to suggest an existing awareness even below the level that I've suggested, the level as emergent only with the establishment of a 'centralized point' in space in which awareness can realistically begin to be experienced in any way. Now there ideas about a field of awareness below even particles may be simply because they've not focused in on the issue of awareness as closely as I have. And perhaps it's still a little foggy in their minds when it comes down to the most fundamental aspect of awareness. So they suggest a fundamental field of consciousness and just leave it there without thinking on it further or explaining how such a field can function. I'm not sure. I'd like to make correspondence with Peter Russell and hash that out sometime. But I will say this, if in fact we're in an eternal realm (multiverse or something similar) where the material here in our universe has come here from preexisting material somewhere else, and that existence of material is essentially infinite and eternal in scope and depth, transferring from realm to realm as new realms are born, than the whole thing taken all together as one great eternal realm of existences certainly shows something in the way of an eternal field of awareness that has always been and will always be - simply because the existence of material means the existence of 'centralized points' from which awareness can be experienced. And that gets extended out eternally with no fixed beginning or end or way of claiming emergence when we can't pin point any absolute fixed first emergence of material, and therefore awareness that goes hand in hand with material. The whole eternal realm would be something like a field of awareness in that sense, with no fixed beginning or end. That's a materialistic oriented philosophical rendition of "eternal consciousness." So perhaps that's where these two ways of thinking may end up meeting and merging. I don't know, but I've been thinking on it all week.
  2. Thoughts on Christianity

    Ok, since we took the off topic on consciounsess to GT, I'm going to continue on topic here. I've gone over Watt's video again while away traveling last week. The main contention here is that TS seems opposed to all of the cosmic christ talk and suggesting that christianity is something akin to Hinduism with mystical ideas about oneness with the god. Also that christian is an absolutist religion, so the book of John could not or must not be talking about what Watt's is suggesting. I both agree and disagree with certain aspects of this critique. Christianity is obviously 'interpreted' as an absolutist religion. And that's mainly due to the orthodox, exoteric and literalistic interpretations of the myths which rose to power and have dominated christian thinking for centuries. That's sort of the surface level of consideration here, though - the level that we all started out familiar with. Where Watt's is going is deeper than the surface level into unfamiliar territory, the old esoteric and mystical territory which lost out to the orthodox interpretations of the myths. The book of John is the most mystical oriented of the gospels. This is well known. The content speaks several times of what is known in mythology as the mystical realization, where one changes their perspective of the god and themselves as two separate unconnected things, one down here and the other out there somewhere, to the god and man interconnected in unity. This is a clear intention on the part of the writer of John. And I know it's a clear intention because he's trying to force fit the mystical realization by quoting the scriptures out of context in Psalm 82 for the specific purpose of making it look like the scriptures suggest that we're all gods, sons of the most high. The writer is suggesting that it's not blasphemy for Jesus to claim to be A son of god. But he's wrong, actually. Psalm 82 is about El Elyon and the Elohim pantheon of gods from pre-monotheistic Judaism when it still retained elements of polytheism. The context of Psalm 82 is where El Elyon the most high god of the pantheon is saying to the other gods of the pantheon, "you are gods," "you are sons of the most high." "but you will die like mortals." It has nothing at all to do with the eastern mystical concepts and realizations, at all. That's not the context, and it's not actually god telling the common people, "you are gods" as the writer of John suggests. So the writer of John seems to display this old belief going around in early christianity that Jesus was A son of god, and that all of Jesus' followers were one with Jesus, who is one with god. He's taking Jewish thinking people through baby steps from the god, to Jesus who realizes god within him, to the followers of Jesus. He had to quote mine Psalm 82 way out of context in order to try and substantiate this old 'sons of god belief' apparently going around at the time, which the Jewish religious authorities condemned as blasphemy. And which led to the persecution of christians as blasphemer's, apparently. You can see this funnel into the Saul to Paul conversion. He was hunting blasphemer's, apparently, and then became one of them himself. If that part of Acts is even true in any way. But as a mythological whole, that's the suggestion going on. And why the Jews rejected the belief is obvious too, because it was something new that people were making up and claiming to be in scripture, when it actually wasn't. So the Jews didn't buy into any of it. Let's face it, it was a New Age religious spin happening among Jewish scripture knowing people around the turn of the common era, when the astrological age changed from the age of Aries to the age of Pisces. Not dissimilar to the time we're living in now where the ages are changing from Pisces to Aquarius and it's prompted a lot of New Age thinking and assertions, many of which are baseless when analyzed closely. Same thing seemed to be going on back then at the last age change. And there's a lot more to this 'sons of god' belief to be discovered while analyzing all of the arguments from Earl Doherty and Richard Carrier and the historical Jesus skeptics. Because they comb these old beliefs with a fine tooth comb and uncover a lot of things that also play into what we're seeing here plainly in the book of John coming out of other sources as well. There seems to have been this mystical oriented belief going around and it was clearly stamped out by orthodox thinking at some point, only after a struggle. To where the old mystical religious belief is nearly unrecognizable to most christians today. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I disagree with Watt's suggestion that the book of John was earlier than the synoptic gospels. And that it probably traced back to an historical Jesus' esoteric teachings to his disciples. I see the book of John as late to arrive. But representing beliefs that were floating around in the early days for whatever that's worth. But I do agree with Watt's in that the mystical realization described here, where the writer has the hero character (Jesus) having the mystical realization (oneness with the god) and then relating directly to his followers, is what is meant by "no one goes to the father but through me." In other words, no one goes to the god except through the 'realization' that you are one with the god. How else would you get to the god? The kingdom of the god is within you, as described just before in Luke. And elaborated upon in much more depth in Thomas. You get to the god who's kingdom is within you, through 'realizing' that you and the god are one. This flies in the face of all existing christians today who think that Jesus means the only way to god is through a church institution who claims to represent Jesus here and now. That is in fact opposing, or opposite to the realization of god within yourself. Which brings me to a follow up conclusion. If the gospel message is oneness with the god - the idea of sons of god through the example set forward by the Jesus character, and that's essentially the christ (the realization that makes one anointed) - then the ANTI-CHRIST is to suggest the very opposite!!!! It's to suggest that you're NOT one with the god and that sons of god DOESN'T suggest a unity with the eternal. That's the current state of christianity - a very "anti-christian" message masquerading around as truth, life, and light. When in fact it represents spiritual darkness and spiritual ignorance with respect to the content of the mythology. The revelation of which, would result in much "wailing and gnashing of teeth" by those who have fallen victim all along to this large scale spiritual deception pretending to represent the truth. It's a good metaphor for how those people deceived by their religious leaders would feel. By this measure, the anti-christ is not something to look forward to arriving, but rather something that's been in control of the churches for a long, long time already. And if anything, approaching the END of it's centuries long reign now, not on the heels of it's beginning. The message of this anti-christ being: you are not one with the god! You are down here, the god is way out there somewhere isolated and distant. You only get to the god through membership in a church group which has absolute authority and which you pay attribution, and only a christian church group qualifies as, "the way, the truth, and the life." This therefore completely conceals and undermines the 'mystical realization' described by Jesus in the texts and keeps people from venturing out looking at other belief systems in the world who do have the mystical realization upfront and obvious for the understanding. And it ends in the very absolutist religion that TS is referring to, which, is by all means "anti-christian" in scope and depth with respect to the mythology that it operates from. As the texts themselves are written, more importantly, by taking scripture alone as it reads! This is something that I have no problem preaching to, or back at christians! And the deeper issue here is that this lost gospel message, may in fact represent something in the way of a final protestant reformation - the most logical conclusion in correcting what the catholic church fowled up...
  3. I wish

    I see I've been summoned. I'm out of state and flying around this week. But the short answer is that I've read about El being associated with the planet Saturn. And worship on Saturn's being the premise for the Jewish Sabbath. The creation account in Genesis 1 being a much later development after the Sabbath had long been tradition already. The other issue is that there was a more ancient Saturn worship that apparently was over shadowed by solar worship, or died out to solar worship. In any case, there is solar worship association with YHWH that I've read about as well.
  4. I'm thinking that you might like it. It's a little different. And we may pioneer some interesting things critiquing all of this. This is an odd topic, but hopefully we can get some participation in watching and engaging this issue. Several people responded in the spirituality section. But there's usually more activity here in GT. @bornagainathiest You want in on this? It does cross into physics and essentially cosmology in so doing, by way of implication.
  5. The hard problem of consciousness is basically how something as immaterial as consciousness, can arise from something as unconscious as matter? Now you're saying here that you simply don't accept the hard problem of consciousness. The claim is that physics has not explained it. And there's been a reaction by some people in the materialist community to just basically ignore it or suggest that it isn't a problem. All the while the hard problem remaining unresolved. So I take your statement that you don't accept the hard problem of consciousness to mean that you are among those who either don't acknowledge that a problem does exist, or choose to ignore it. My own position started out as dismissive to panpsychism and suggestions that "all is mind." And the New Age claims that reality is created by perception. Basically the claims that suggest that mind comes before matter. That doesn't make any sense with respect to evolution. Much in the same way you've expressed here: But, that's the reason I've posted the video lecture. Both you and myself are actually swinging at a straw man with this reasoning, and I didn't know that from the outset. I was looking at it all wrong. And that's why it appears at first glance that they're using a backwards approach. I'm thinking that you may adjust your opinions too, after having looked closely at the Primacy of Consciousness argument itself and what it entails. It's not as cut and dry as you're seeing it in the quote. Where we're actually going is somewhere that I came upon independently of Peter Russell through my own contemplation. And that's the simple question of whether awareness itself, just existence of awareness itself isn't limited just to human consciousness but instead down scales all the way down the material universe to sub atomic levels. This isn't to suggest HUMAN consciousness or SUPER consciousness all the way down, it's simple to question whether awareness starts out very primitive and simple at lower levels, and becomes more complex as you begin to scale up. And finally finding the complexities that arise through the evolution of animals and finally to mankind. I came into this because of an alternative physics model know as the Wave Structure of Matter (WSM), set forward by Milo Wolff and Geoff Haselhurst. It's basically a wave structured model of the electron. And it was set forward as a possible explanation for the mechanism of two way communication between point particles in space, namely that point particles are the 'appearances' of spherical standing waves vibrating in the wave medium of space. It's a materialistic model, set forward by materialistic thinkers. But it creates a philosophical pantheist outlook at the same time, where one thing exists, space wave motion, and that one thing that exists gives rise to everything that exists. It's offered as the simplest explanation of reality, by explaining reality from only one thing. I found that pretty interesting. But from this focus on point particles and how to try and best explain the mechanism for two way communication between particles in space, I began to see something emerging that no one seemed to be talking about. The communication of distance and location between two particles in space, can be explained by the angle of the wave fronts that enter into the standing wave centers of each individual particle. The arch of the in-wave fronts will be more or less curved as they approach the wave center / point particle, depending on the distance of the surrounding wave center sent the out-waves. I asked the physicists if this could be considered a very primitive type of awareness experienced by the spherical standing waves / point particles in space? An awareness of distance and location between individual particles in space, of sorts? Hesitantly the answer was yes, but they quickly qualified that it's not awareness in the sense of consciousness as we understand it. Granted, I didn't think that it was though. I only thought that I may be looking at the 'beginnings' of what can be called awareness in the universe. And it's simple and primitive, not complex. It's not super consciousness in any way described by Hinduism and eastern mysticism. It's not an all knowing god of the bible. It's not advanced or complex awareness and it's not human consciousness, obviously. So I thought I had stumbled into something unique, and worthy of deeper consideration. Fast forward to years later and I came across this lecture on the Primacy of Consciousness by Peter Russell. When he said that he feels that awareness goes all the way down in this lecture, I immediately recognized the correspondence to what I had been questioning through a different focus than that of Peter Russell. And this speaks to the Hard Problem in physics. Not by way of some fruity New Age claim based on taking ancient eastern mysticism literally, but rather from an in depth analysis of the natural universe itself and it's evolution of life over time with the addition of inherent awareness as part of the equation. It's addressing the hard problem pf consciousness by suggesting that awareness didn't magically emerge into existence at some point down the evolutionary line, which science hasn't been able to pin point, but rather that it's primary in nature itself - in material existence itself. Not by way of some supernatural god, superconsciousness, or all knowing anything, but rather nature and cosmos apparently having an inherent sense of awareness through and through, which can develop into much GREATER FOCUS with the evolution of central nervous systems. And that's not to say that awareness doesn't emerge at some fixed point, because according to my consideration it does clearly emerge. Space itself shows no sign of being aware and conscious. How could it be? Awareness of anything at all only seems to emerge as of the emergence of a central point in space, which can then experience awareness on primitive levels of communication - not contemplative or all knowing levels - but primitive levels that simply have to do with energy and information exchanging between particles in space. The wave structured electron makes this obvious and gives it some depth. But I see this as still applying to standard point particle physics as well. From 'centralized points in space' can energy and information transfer from one point to another. And scaling up from the sub atomic forward, this primitive awareness inherent in the material universe itself, is an inherent awareness within nature itself all the way through. All sorts of energy and information communication taking place through out all material existence, including life forms, and including intelligent life forms. Without the existence of a centralized point, there's no real mechanism for awareness to be experienced at all. And each of us basically represent a centralized point of experience, which is usually referred to as the ego or ego consciousness. This may in fact scale all the way down in that sense - in the sense of experience and awareness always taking place in terms of a centralized perspective looking outward. Meanwhile, we're actually nothing more than the fabric and structure of existence itself having experiences of awareness from the perspective of centralized locations throughout it's natural expanse. It's not thinking this or that, aside from thinking this or that through the medium of living creatures that can think. I don't see any evidence of uniform eternal mind, just inherent awareness that may have always been taking place any where that a universe exists with material properties. In the case of eternal cosmological models, that means eternal existence of material and in like fashion awareness inherent in material. Add things like the infinite replication paradox to the table and a greatly expanded outlook on inherent material awareness can begin to take shape. All while holding to a materialistic oriented scientific outlook. There's no intelligent designer, aside from nature itself. Nature appears to be a trial and error system that produces change based often on mistakes or correcting disadvantages. And you add the inherent awareness emergent as of the smallest levels of subatomic matter, and a situation begins to take shape that may better explain evolution itself. The awareness of nature itself. Which can spill over into infinite and eternal in depth and scope, very easily. And it speaks directly to the hard problem of consciousness in physics again and again...
  6. Now I'll post Peter Russell's video lecture on the Primacy of Consciousness argument that he's set forward, so that we can examine just what his argument does entail:
  7. Thoughts on Christianity

    I've tried this in real time with people here and there, if they seemed open minded enough to get into it with. I've seen it work itself out over time. I suppose that's how we all got here in the first place. Either we or someone else was able to change our minds due to some point or points that we could no loner rationalize away. Our existence as formerly fundamentalist christians demonstrates that mind changing is possible, and inevitable given certain circumstances,
  8. Thoughts on Christianity

    @TrueScotsman Good idea, but I'm atheist as well. We have the pantheisms as part of the spiritual element of ex-christianity. That's basically what I'm discussing, either as pantheism or spiritual atheism. Also, the Sam Harris variety of atheism pretty much qualifies. We have a discussion there about his book on spirituality. But the topic clearly fits in the GTS as well, and perhaps we'll have more participation there. If you think it's better to do it that way then let's do it there. I can tell already that the discussion will hold value and provoke another degree a growth in myself, and perhaps other people following along, just due to the content we'll be analyzing. I look forward to diving into this. But I will have to digress at first and explain what I've already laid out the in the spirituality discussion.
  9. Thoughts on Christianity

    @TrueScotsman I summoned you over to a thread in the spirituality section about Peter Russell's Primacy of Consciousness lectures and my thoughts on them. In that I explore how ideas I've had are similar to the main thrust of Russell's ideas about awareness and the possible scope of it's depth within matter itself. But with the distinction that what I'm exploring is not exactly what's found in ancient Hinduism. Your response here is the most involved response I've had so far, so I hope you'll help me continue exploring this on the Awareness Broken Down thread. To the point of the Alan Watts video, I think I understand why you have a problem with his suggesting that the late written book of John discloses Jesus esoteric teachings to his disciples. You have a point that according to theological academics there's a clear evolution within the gospels building up to finally calling Jesus god. Ehrman or any number of academics will point this out. Also miracle stories increase in the same direction. I get that. But for what ever reason or how the book of John came about, the point is that the subject matter has do to with a way of suggesting that the mythical god is present within this concept of A son of god. This doesn't require any working knowledge of the specifics of human consciousness nor philosophical presentations about the possible primacy of consciousness and emergence. That may actually distract us from the point of the thread because it's simply a theological and mythological discussion about how the christian mythology contains elements of the principle mystical realization found in diverse cultures around the world. I don't think that it's specifically the writer of John trying to teach Hinduism or anything like that, as you seem to think Watts is suggesting. I just think that the book of John starts out with the Platonic Logos suggestion and then continues on as the most mystical oriented of the gospels right on through. In the context of being the most mystical gospel, we find discussion that draws attention to god's presence in his son, and his son's presence in the rest of everyone. And my thoughts have been that this has to do with making an appeal to Gnostic oriented readers of the time. But it's trying to orient these Gnostic concepts to the orthodoxy. And I had to add some content to the bottom of my last post, but basically I think there's a strong argument to made that just about all christians today have a greatly distorted view and interpretation of the context of the book of John. And that many religious institutions greatly misuse, "I and my Father are one," to make blatantly false claims. Claims that are false according the bible itself without getting into non-theistic arguments. Your issues with the word usage of mystical realization, oneness, transcendent, and other expressions seems to be an aside to what I've been discussing here. And we'd be best to explore those in depth on the other thread because they'd completely derail this discussion if we go down that rabbit hole. But I'd love to discuss it with you further because I'd like to clarify how different my own perspective is in comparison to the perspectives you're speaking to in the last post.
  10. Awareness Broken Down

    @TrueScotsman I started this thread a while back to specifically tackle issues of consciousness and awareness from a different perspective than what is usually discussed. I think it's interesting, maybe you will as well. Just thought I'd bring the thread to your attention since you're interested in consciousness and meditation and have your own particular ideas about them.
  11. Thoughts on Christianity

    @TrueScotsman I should say that most of my thoughts and ideas are not exactly traditional most of the time. I will use words like mystical, spiritual, etc., but usually qualify what I mean by them. In this case I suppose I've not been clear enough and you're thinking that I'm taking positions that I'm not actually taking. So I'll try and clarify myself better, I understand it's my own fault if I'm not being clear enough for someone. I'm a naturalist, completely. Like you. And like you, I see human consciousness as specific to the central nervous system. In fact my opinions as of lately are closer to Peter Russell more so than older philosophers like Watts when it comes to consciousness and awareness. Clearly the evolution of a central nervous system brings consciousness and awareness into greater focus, which, is why human beings are what they are with respect to other creatures. But what does this have to do with oneness? With greater focus, comes the realization that although everything appears to be separate and discrete, it's actually interconnected in many ways. It's the animalistic perception of lesser focus that suggests that we're isolated and discrete. Those are appearances. For instance, using the human mind and it's sophisticated central nervous system, I can easily narrow everything down and understand that there's more volume of space itself per every atom of my body with it's brain and nervous system, than there is particular matter. This is fact. All of this space all throughout. Is space one thing, or is space two or more completely different things? So in a very specific way, I am space. I am quite literally one continuous thing which is present both within and outside of everything. And as for the particles of matter in space, the jury is out for the most part. The mysteries run deep concerning what the hell is really going on with particles of matter. But in any case, space itself is one continuous thing which is present in fundamental ways both within and outside of all perceived objects. Space, along with matter, IS the universe. If multiverse cosmology is correct, space is very continuous and not limited in scope and depth. Eternal, infinite, omnipresent, etc. I can say, "I am the universe incarnate!" And you'd be hard pressed to show otherwise, regardless of how mystical or new age it sounds to say such a thing. So in a very fundamental way my mind can understand through straight forward materialistic scientific reasoning, that I and the ultimate factors of existence, are truly "one." It always comes down to this principle realization, which, is but a modern perspective of what the old mystical realization entails. Stripped of supernaturalism, it's still there. It's still the basic issue of the human mind coming to a type of deeper self realization and self identification with the whole, despite the perception of isolated and discrete parts. Interconnection and interdependence are true in different senses, despite their association with some peoples supernatural ideas which aren't necessarily true. The mystical realization of oneness with the god, in my opinion, bubbles up in diverse cultures around the world simply because the gods are in actuality mythical personifications of ultimate reality that deal with the human mind grasping at the mysteries of existence. The ultimate realization is this: "I and the other, are one!" This bubbled up in christianity, too, as it's done in diverse cultures at diverse times in history. And the person describing this mystical realization in the mythical story line associates (1) himself with the god, and (2) his followers with himself, therefore (3) making a direct connection between the god and the people themselves, the society in question. The Jewish religious authorities, however, lash out at this. Which is often the case with the mystical realization. Al Hallaj the Islamic mystic declared, "I am my beloved!" and gets killed for saying it. Jesus gets killed for saying it. The moral here is that the religious authorities who like to stand between the people of the society and the god as middle men between the god and the people, and like to promote themselves as a necessary factor in the equation, are in fact completely unnecessary in the grand scheme. The connection is a direction connection and the only way that the religious authorities can promote themselves as a necessary middle man, is by keeping the people ignorant of their direct connection to the god independent of the said religious authorities. The kingdom of the god is "within you," says Luke before John. John follows up on this in greater detail. This is the root of the psychology behind the modern churches misusing, "no one goes to the father but through me," to claim that they, as a church, are what is meant by "me" in those verses. They do that by claiming that they are the remaining church of Jesus and therefore fit the description of "me" in those verses from the mystical and anonymously authored book of John. This is what I meant previously when asking if any one sees where this is all going.
  12. Thoughts on Christianity

    No, this wasn't a psychedelic thing. It was a contemplative reaction to thinking about things like what came before the BB and so on. Thinking about what it means to exist, with respect to existence itself the totality. The two, are not two, they are simply one. There is only the totality of existence itself and that's what you and I essentially are. We are the fabric and structure of existence itself, which is the way Watts described it in his Out of Mind series. What Watt's was saying in the video was that he suspects that Jesus was an ordinary man who had the principle mystical realization (the god and man are essentially one) early in life. All that you see thereafter in the NT and gospels essentially stemming from distorted perspectives of that. And perhaps that in John the esoteric teachings of Jesus come out. I however don't go that far, so far as to assume that the myth of Jesus was ever based on one fixed historical personage and his specific teachings. He's obviously a mix of different historical types along with mythological motifs and so on. There's quite a bit going on with respect to the Jesus myth. But clearly the book John is the most mystical of the gospels and some have averred that it was written specifically to make usage of Gnostic terms and images and bring Gnostic's over to the orthodoxy in that way. It's quite Egyptian in appeal, too. The Lazarus myth loosely modeling the Osiris myth. I've been torn about how the anonymous gospel writers took these myths themselves. It seems that they took it completely historically as you suggest, but I just don't know. It doesn't really matter though with respect to the mystical content. They could very well take it completely literally and at the same time express the principle mystical realization of oneness with the god. In fact, Watt's whole angle is that they did take Jesus historically and were speaking to the mystical realizations of an historical Jesus. Campbell assumed the same, in terms of Jesus being a real person who expressed having the mystical realization to real disciples. So I'm not even making this about the debate of Jesus' historical existence, I'm just asking christians what they think about the mystical realization that is blatantly being expressed by Jesus in the gospels. And why it's so blatant. And how it compares with other peoples exact same mystical realizations about their gods. All of these mystical "ways" being the very same in terms of all leading to the very same conclusion in the end, oneness with the god.
  13. I had addressed the issue with an article in post # 9 Here's some linkage to counter arguments: https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/22720-global-warming-satellite-data-gets-suspicious-makeover
  14. You folks? I'm not Republican. I'm largely apolitical. It's obvious that you rolled through here with a preconceived idea of who I am and what this is about and jumped to many assumptions. Climate denial is a broad term. There's no denying climate change, obviously. There is however denying claims of man made climate change that have fallen short through out the entire life of the movement, and the dramatic impacts and projections that have been claimed. There's fowl play going on in the manipulation of data to try and save face aspect of all of this. When you read a sensational headline that warming is 140% higher, guess what? Big red flag. Dig deeper into the claim and it's methodology, surprise everyone! Peer review showing the claims as "spurious." That's why these "spurious" claims are so apologetic in scope in depth.
  15. @TrueScotsman I guess you skipped the video? Coleman is a scientist, believing in the scientific method, explaining exactly how this meme originated and then spread through the political spectrum. He has nothing to do with unscientific oriented christian denial nor the oil and gas companies, he's addressing this shame from the perspective of a scientist sick and tired of the unscientific approaches and methodology used by the fear mongering climate change lobby. Coleman talks about over 30,000 signatures from scientists around the world on a petition, making nonsense of the issue of consensus which is part of the meme that people keep repeating. It's fear mongering for political purposes. It's the equivalent of a pseudo-scientific rendition of Revelation, hell and damnation, scare everyone into submission psychological social meme promotion. And it's gone global, like religion. And it has it's apologists, like religion. And it has traceable sources, like religion. And it speaks to the psychology of fear mongering and thinking that the end justifies the means. And so many ex-christians seem to be suckered in by these meme because it wears a cloak of proclaiming to be science. Many scientists disagree with that claim, however. And it's not a christian verse science thing only, it's more importantly a science verse pseudo-science thing now. And that's where I began to take interest in the back and fourth between scientists disagreeing on this fear mongering meme.