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Deva last won the day on August 16 2012

Deva had the most liked content!

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About Deva

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  • Birthday 07/14/1958

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    Birding, art, reading, keeping my small zoo of salamanders, reptiles, and plants; photographing birds, and cultivating a good heart.
  • More About Me
    Left the Baptist Church in 1992 and the Episcopal Church in 2000. Buddhist off and on for 10 years now.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Nature of reality

    I am still inclined to think that there is a reality out there despite what we may think. But I don't know exactly what it is, and neither do scientists. There is "dark matter" and "dark energy" which is unknown as far as definition or properties go. There are still some unknowns out there. All has not been uncovered and explained yet.
  2. Thoughts

    Thank you SeaJay. That is very kind of you to read my post and take my advice. I would be interested in hearing what insights you may have after reading these books.
  3. Thoughts

    These are some of my favorite passages. I always liked the book of Revelation (also parts of the book of John), just for the soaring, poetic imagery. Forget if its true or not.
  4. Thoughts

    I have read The Blind Watchmaker, God is Not Great and Misquoting Jesus. The must read on this list is The Blind Watchmaker. After that, Misquoting Jesus. Both good books.
  5. Thank you. I agree that words can be very powerful weapons.
  6. Thoughts

    Seejay I confess I have not read all of this thread, but I can say that fear is a large component of Christian indoctrination. It took me over 40 years - with lapses back into faith - to rid myself of it. The thing is, it is not entirely rational. There are emotional and nostalgic factors (if you were raised with it). You can have the best reasons on earth to walk away, mentally and physically, and it still returns. I think the brain is like a computer that has been written with a program and it is always there. All the hymns I sang as a Fundamentalist are still echoing in my head at times, although the last time I sang any was the early '90s. BUT, other programs can be written over top of it, if that makes sense. Eventually, the fear diminishes as the reasoning mind program kicks in. Read, study about the source documents of Christianity and the history of the church and the development of doctrine. Most Christians have no sense of history and no idea of what happened in the first four centuries that made Christianity the dominant religion that it became. The sad part is that many ministers and pastors had this information taught to them in seminary, but could not or would not teach it in the church. I actually heard a deacon in the Episcopal Church say she wouldn't teach what she knew because "people wouldn't understand it." She was right. It would completely undermine their faith if they knew! My only advice is to educate yourself. You really have to dig. But, you can and will succeed. Not sure if this helps.
  7. I would feel bound to oppose a system that would change the laws of my country (the U.S.) to suppress the few freedoms we have left. Sharia law in Islam, for example. I feel it is making insidious inroads toward that goal at this time. Also, forced conversions are not unknown in history and I would hate to see it in my lifetime, by any religion.
  8. Nature of reality

    To be fair, I don't really have a great understanding or grasp of the Cittamatra School of Tibetan Buddhism. I have a book on it somewhere written by my Tibetan teachers. I may revisit it due to reflecting on this thread.
  9. Nature of reality

    Its interesting to me how our minds create our own realities. A positive mental outlook that does not emphasize what is "wrong" in the world is a real asset in overall well being, yet not to deny the very many disturbing or difficult things that do on. I don't know if I would go so far as to say "all is mind" like some Buddhist schools, but it sure is a lot. As far as what is really going on with the leadership of the U.S., we are just not in a position to know. Our elected officials don't seem to be running the show.
  10. Bart Ehrman

    I agree that since we have no original writings whatsoever, and only copies of copies decades or even centuries from when the events supposedly occurred, it is just not logical or reasonable to base your life on such writings, much less the fact that the modern world is so changed that these ancient writers could not comprehend our everyday lives, much less write anything relevant.
  11. This article is very, very disturbing. Nothing but slave labor going on here. In this country.
  12. Bart Ehrman

    I am reading Misquoting Jesus right now and have read several other books by Bart Ehrman, including How Jesus Became God. Ehrman refers to himself as an agnostic and he views Jesus as being a real person, a Jewish apocalyptic prophet. I have read other scholars say pretty much the same thing. I can't see why it makes much difference if Jesus was actually a real person or not since it seems that most of the information about him was changed, altered in various ways and made into an elaborate theology over the course of centuries, but for right now I think its most likely he did exist. I just think we can't know much about him historically. I like Bart Ehrman's books better than the debates I have seen him in. He seems strident and a bit arrogant in the debates, even if I agree with him. He hammers a lot on changes in Biblical texts in his popular books and I think that is because of his background as a former Fundamentalist who was obliged at one time to believe the Bible was inerrant. He would like to make it widely known that this supposedly inerrant text is nothing of the kind.
  13. I saw a report today where the girlfriend said the shooter would moan and scream in his sleep. He also drank too much. Plainly, this guy did have issues. Waiting for more facts to surface. I also read an account by the person in the room directly below. This guy was remarkably blase and calm. If I heard shooting from a room above me, I would be a basket case! Instead, this guy said he was "concerned." The most he did was look out into the hallway, where security people told him to get back into his room. Just remarkable.
  14. Supposedly now the shooter planned to escape rather than kill himself. I would be interested in hearing the evidence this was true, but so far, haven't seen any. It is frustrating when the media, or the police, put out statements like this with nothing else.
  15. In the interview of the witness who saw this woman, the witness said this woman was hassling another woman and then said what she said. Security proceeded to haul her off the scene. Who knows, maybe a random person just freaking out for some reason. I do think the FBI should at least interview her.