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L.B. last won the day on January 4 2017

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About L.B.

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    music, old arcade and video games and self-realization (not necessarily in that order).
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    The Buddha tells us that in the infinity beyond all the nothings is the emptiness of the eternal five: Sight, Smell, Hearing, Taste and Feeling. The five flavors dull all the tastes, the five tones deafen every ear, the five colors, they all blind the eye, yet they do not pass. All things come to us. Without wisdom, no gain, yet gain must end. All men/women will be one; only then will you find true peace, and happiness too. It is invisible, inaudible and quite infinite. Do you all hear the sound of bells? We hear nothing it is just a sound.

    "The Person for whom there are no expectations, concerning either this world or the world beyond, that one I call superior." - Siddhartha Gautama Buddha

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

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  1. L.B.

    The circle of error

    I have to object slightly - not ALL religions teach that obeying rules brings reward and disobeying brings punishment. There is a philosophy/religion that teaches that "disobedience" is really more just a matter of self-sabotage - in other words, you don't get "punished" by some standalone god-being somewhere; rather, you just don't grow and advance in all the ways that are possible. It's just like eating crappy. processed foods - yes, they can nourish you to a point, but the crappier and less natural your food choices are, the less good they will do, and the more side-effects you'll have to deal with. Making the better choices just doesn't have a down side. Hope that made a little bit of sense.
  2. L.B.

    Non Dual Awareness

    (NOTE: I'm going to try to keep this coherent, but since it's both a very compelling set of ideas to me, and I don't have the benefit of real-time back/forth in convo with anyone, it may seem a bit disjointed and ramble-y. Please forgive me. Or not.) I've always been attracted to a few different ideas; one being that everything which exists in this material world emanates from something, and has a common source. We are "stardust", "billion-year-old carbon", as Joni Mitchell so aptly put it, even if her math was wrong. I love the idea that the source of everything is impersonal - that explains why evolution and all the other biological processes we can observe are seemingly only randomly beneficial to humankind. We are at the mercy of the natural world, and we benefit from it, just like every other living thing. Along with the impersonal Source of everything, there are also personalities - yes, each of us is just a functioning carbon-based organism, but there is also the intangible nature of "personhood" - the thing that trips everyone up when it comes to life-support machinery, etc. When is a person "there"? Are they "alive" because their brain is still functioning without aid of support, even though they no longer speak, interact, seemingly sense anything that we can gauge? Yes, there's Ego - the false notion of the separately-individual self; think of a basketball team. There are individual players, but they must also have a unified identity, no one player emphasizing and insisting upon their own gain and superiority at the expense of the team's success. Each player is, at one and the same time, an individual self/ego AND an indivisible part of a whole that rises or falls together. Of course, the different players have different tasks, differing skill sets and levels of ability, but each has the goal of self-improvement in mind, which is also unavoidably team improvement. No one can truly gain in skill and ability if their efforts are not directed at being useful and beneficial to the entire team. I believe that we must both recognize our absolute connection with/sameness with all other living things AND our individual roles, much like trees give and take carbon dioxide and oxygen. The process is necessary both to the existence of the tree and the existence of other living things that benefit from what the tree does not need. My goal in this life is to navigate the unique struggles, challenges, obstacles and questions that are before me - situations that are unique in detail, perhaps, but also having qualities which every person's situations possess. For instance, I am considered a nice-looking man by some, and I am considered witty and intelligent - characteristics that make for currency in romantic pursuits. I am also dealing with physical issues and health problems - things that offset or negate in some ways my physical attractiveness. It thus behooves me to ask daily how I can improve myself physically and in terms of my health, but also to ask daily how I can make my mind, attitude and outlook more positive, relegating my physical appearance to a far-less-significant place in my own (and others') estimation of me. In my growing awareness of my essential oneness with all things and people, I am trying to judge less, understanding that this material world is full of sense-pleasures that trick us into believing in our separate individuality, promoting selfishness and greed. For instance, it might feel luxurious and decadent to eat your favorite ice-creams and rich foods all day long, every day, but the resultant issues with your health would be coupled with increasing addiction to those foods and the sensations they bring - think of Gollum and the One Ring; the attraction to it was delightful at first, then more and more powerful, forcing him to forego relationships, well-being and empathy in an effort to keep his "precious" all for himself. There is so much more that can be said about the idea of the essential unity of all things - imagine if each of us embraced that idea; we could start to see so many other issues in sharper relief, making us more aware of our interconnected existence. Is it possible that "spirituality" is really just the pull of our essential unity, calling us away from ego-self desires and drives, and that there are stories, ideas, philosophies that can illustrate the truth of oneness and teach us about how to seek a deeper awareness of our unity?
  3. L.B.

    I believe in Jesus again

    @duderonomy I get it now!!!! I finally get it!!! Hallelujah! Bottahonda! Shoodabottahunday! Jesus is SO real to me - even more real than any fictional characters you read about in books! I mean, you can GO to the places that are mentioned in the stories about Jesus - not like on Law & Order - Special Victims Unit, or something, where those are real places but not real characters! It's so obvious that Jesus is real, just like Jerusalem is real! I am so refreshed in the Spirit right now.
  4. L.B.

    I believe in Jesus again

    Pretty much sums up: 1) why, if there was a god, it would want ongoing sacrifice, like the Catholic god, not impossible-to-prove assertions of belief like the Protestant god and 2) why I refuse to have anything to do with agreeing with or promoting the asinine "religion" known as Christianity. I believe that one of the most powerful pieces of evidence disproving Christianity is the existence of two MASSIVELY-influential, globally-ubiquitous movements, both claiming to be truly Christian, which are entirely irreconcilable.
  5. L.B.

    Did Jesus Exist?

    From everything I've read, and based on deductions I've made from actual history (not the bible), I've concluded that there were apocalyptic preachers at the dawn of the first century (easy to demonstrate), and that there was an expectation that the religio-military hero "messiah" expected by a subset of the Jews was to be named Yahshua/Joshua ("Jesus" is such a corruption that it's laughable). With all that said, the earliest artifacts relating to "Jesus" in Israel are all related to the religious figure, the Catholic Jesus, the savior-hero-god-man character; there are no artifacts, historical sites, etc pegged as describing or being connected to a different person. I hope what I'm saying makes sense - I'm fighting a cold. In other words, what I posit is that nobody who knew a REAL, historical person named Yahshua (or whatever), attributed any supernatural or world-changing significance to that person, insofar as they never memorialized that person with shrines, plaques, etc (probably because Jewish people would have considered that close to idolatry, anyway). The "Jesus" that anyone can point to is memorialized by sites related to the bible stories; the bible stories weren't based on events, but the places mentioned in the stories have become significant BECAUSE of the stories - like a 1st-C. 221B Baker Street.
  6. UPDATE: I'm scheduled to see a therapist on my own. I'm looking forward to being able to share my feelings with someone who has more of an objective view. Too many people in my life have been too invested in the "me" that existed when I was in religion, the "me" that believed I owed it to a god, and to others, to think and behave in so many ways that ran counter to nature, to my instincts and to my goals in life. She says she feels encouraged that I am going to be able to deal with these issues and adjust and heal - I still worry that she thinks I will return to religion, or that somehow if I don't, at least maybe I'll be OK enough somehow. One step at a time.
  7. Please fucking do, and take your thread-hijacking airplane-analogy bullshit with you. The bible makes clear that god is going to judge people based on sin, which is something that the bible says MANKIND IS INCAPABLE OF AVOIDING. See? God "cursed" Adam and Eve with death as a result of sin - and let thousands of generations of people be born in a damned condition, inescapably, unless they beg this god to be "cured" of a condition they were born with and COULD NOT AVOID. Your grandparents smoked crack, and subsequent generations of children have been born deformed, but if they go to your GREAT-grandfather and beg his forgiveness, they can somehow magically be restored to full health and normalcy as if nothing had ever happened. The only OTHER problem with that idea is that it only deals with some nonsense "spiritual" condition. Your Christards still die in floods, in fires, from wasting diseases, from starvation, from the corrupt cops who act as paramilitary units for the oligarchy in our country... why can't Magical Great-Grandpa just "zap" all the ACTUAL problems away, too? Nooo... that would be too easy. We have to have "faith" and struggle through all the SAME shit that believers in hundreds of other religions go through, and things that non-believers go through... wow - it almost seems like the circumstances we face, and our chances of facing them and surviving them, are - wait for it - RANDOM AND ARBITRARY, and not the whims of an omniscient being. This shit is fucking retarded, and so are all the attempts to re-frame this shit so that you can try and cover all your bases. It's a fitted sheet for a mattress that's WAY too big for the sheet. Give up already, at least here.
  8. I don't get it - why would I want to talk to a counselor who is a theist of some kind? Not saying I absolutely wouldn't, but I'm wondering why I couldn't insist on a strictly secular foundation for our therapy.
  9. It's mind-boggling, honestly. I don't know why any number of other mythologies and/or philosophies on life, etc, wouldn't be more compelling - after all, the vast majority of them either make MORE sense than the evangelical bible story, or they make as much or less sense, but at least nobody treats them as absolutely real and the will of some actual being.
  10. Got into what I thought was going to be an interesting chat with a woman online this morning. She got me talking about magick and alchemy and the forces of nature and the impersonal characteristics of the universe. Next thing you know, she breaks out the "universe was made by the god of the bible, we're all doomed, have to be saved/reborn" bullshit. I asked her, "Why did your god allow people to be born 'dead in sin' after 'Adam and Eve' disobeyed? Why not just kill them for their disobedience, or reserve their punishment for them alone? Why not fix the problem right then, instead of waiting thousands of years to set up a solution that is nothing more than begging the doctor for the antidote to the disease he injected you with"? I told her, "This god who made you, subject to his damnation, then makes you beg for his pardon, is an abuser." I got nothing but the "we have to choose to be saved", "we have to choose to ask for forgiveness" nonsense, over and over. That's all I ever hear. Those are the only answers that stupid religion ever offers.
  11. 1. No, not in my mind, but it sure is going to be hard having the elephant of my unbelief/her belief in the room all the time, unmentioned. 2. No; they're young. They are part of the youth group at a friend's church largely because of the emotional relationships they have with the leaders there, who in the past were close friends of mine. 3. No, I don't have to go to church. My wife's anxiety keeps acting up, though, when she constantly worries about what to say when I'm not there. "He's not here/he didn't come to church this week" is not a good enough answer. 1. I do love my wife - she's a deeply caring, compassionate, sensitive person in many ways. Whether she believes in whatever is of no concern to me as regards HER; I cannot stand knowing that she believes the bible is correct about me either being a backslider or never having been 'saved' to begin with, and she doesn't have the guts to say so. 2. She says she loves me, but she is not able to elaborate as to why. She just keeps referring to how long we've been together, and all the things we've been through. I could not tell you right now one thing that she has said she loves about me.
  12. Well, it looks like the time has come. We've finally reached the point where my struggles, my loneliness, my failures (all of which I admit) have become MY fault in her mind, because I'm not "trusting", "praying", etc. She says she wants me to be whole and to deal with my issues - I agree; one of my issues is the rejection I have received from the Christards, even while I was still actively involved in their world and trying to believe what they all did. No, she says; she'll never stop "following Christ". I ask, "What about the fact that your church and your religion teach that I'm either a 'backslider' (very bad) or an 'unbeliever' (even worse)? What are you going to tell our children when their youth-group leaders preach about people who don't believe, or who reject the faith, and they start to think of their father as one of 'those people', who are 'lost' and going to 'hell'? What about YOU? What are YOU going to think, since you believe that the Bible is the entirely-true word of your god, transmitted through his faithful scribes?" She equivocates, and says that maybe it's MY responsibility to change my ways, my attitude, so that maybe my children will see that I'm not a bad person, or something. She says maybe, just maybe, we should go find a church where I can 'be myself' and not have to pretend (pretend to what? be a Christian? I'd never pretend that.) Then she texts me and says she's convinced that we need to go see a counselor together, so that our children can see us 'fighting for us', and have more respect for me, or something. In other words, she's not changing her mind about her religion, and the lack of it is a huge barrier between us now, and she believes this is critical to the survival of an 18-year marriage and a 25-year relationship and my role as a father. The line has been drawn. I am going to see a counselor on my own, because I need to, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be threatened by her over her refusal to abandon those asinine ideas about hell and the unbeliever. What would happen if I went to a counselor with her and we worked out all kinds of emotional issues? So what? None of that would make me a bit more interested in belonging to her religion or any other religion again - that, I can guarantee.
  13. L.B.

    Why do I have to endre this crap

    All I know is that when you post stupid Christian shit, all you're doing is poking a stick through a fence that sports a BIG fucking sign what says BEWARE OF DOG and you're just asking for trouble if a deranged, angry, abused, hungry, desperate dog gets loose. I have yet to read a single thing that any Christard has posted on here that even remotely approaches the maturity, intelligence, depth of knowledge and commitment to research and to logical continuity that I see from Exers... and that's when they're trying to do the Christards' job FOR them, playing the other side! Exers do a better job of formulating and expressing cogent Christian ideas than any religious retard that wanders in here. That's how pathetic their efforts are. I would have no problem with listening to "I don't know, I'm confused, I'm wondering", etc, all day long. Making assertions about imaginary gods and their wills and their primitive, xenophobic, homophobic decrees is the express lane to getting criticized at best, insulted usually, threatened sometimes... I need not progress.
  14. @MOHO: The saddest part is that when I was a "preacher" and musician, I had all the friends I could ever want, to hang out with or whatever. If I don't include myself in my wife's trips to church or to a friend's house, they never ask about me - or at least they never bother to care enough to email, or text, or call, or drop by, or send a fucking postcard, or whatever. I have been wondering lately - if I told my wife I had gas money to spend and nothing important on my calendar... how long would it take even those who are closest to me to realize that I hadn't been around for a day? More? How long would it take for all these other fake-ass people to realize they never saw me at all anymore? Why should I even care anymore if anyone noticed I was gone? If they were so fucking concerned about where I am and how I am, they would have made an effort by now, a LONG time ago.
  15. No, it's worse... she's encouraging these girls to get into this as if its their free, rational choice to "have a relationship with jeezis". They're encouraged to read their bibles, pray and "worship", and spend time with a "friend's" church youth group because they're "living their lives for god" or some shit.