33 Comments

  1. Every once in a while, I can feel myself sort of sliding into your bigot file:

    “. . . if other people are not using the same words the same definitions as you, then you get to tell them (get to tell them!) that they are incorrect, sinful, not understanding things correctly, and otherwise in validate that other person.”

    As I mentioned in one of my recent comments, we need “same words” and “same definitions” to some degree in order to communicate. Don’t we? And, as it has to do with communicating about our shared story, isn’t it the case that some tellings of our story are more truthful and faithful than others?

    For example, one rendition begins with a declaration that there is no God. Another begins with the existence of God. One of those renditions is more truthful and faithful to our story than the other.

    1. I’m not calling you a bigot, but it is the same type of conceptual operation at work when a person simply refuses to see that that other person is being and is valid as he or she is; which is to say without me giving them permission to think or be in a certain way.

      Communicating yes. But we are using the same words, you and I. But sometimes are not really communicating. I mean we are communicating in that we are reading each other‘s posts and comments, but when we actually begin to discuss what it is that we are agreeing about…

      That’s where the communication stops and becomes then throwing around of opinions and who is more correct.

      If I say, yes I agree, Jesus Christ is the son of God come down to save us from our sins.

      You go, yes I agree lance. But then we start talking about what that actually means and the communication stops.

      You and I have spent years I’m pretty sure discussing at length these various ways of meaning. In the End it is apparent to me that I understand what you are saying, what you are describing, the meaning that you are attributing to that sentence, for example. But when I talk about what it actually means, you are unable to understand what I’m saying. It appears to me that you only reach a certain level of thinking into what something means. At that level you recourse back into other sentences and phrases that to me have no substance except that they referred to a compendium of self reflecting terms of meaning or authorized definitions (ie .the Bible)

      To me it appears you only reach a certain level and then you stop thinking about what something means. If I go beyond that level you simply say that it makes no sense and then you refer me back to your compendium, your self reflecting library of terms and their meanings. It’s as though the word “Jesus“ has a meaning that is supposed to be self evident everywhere that word appears. Like the word “God”. One of the problems with Christianity is as soon as someone says the word God then the Christian supposes that there is this universal meaning of God that everyone must understand.

      The problem is that if we openly investigate into what various people mean when they use these terms We invariably find that what they are understanding is not the same idea that I had when I use the word.

      It appears to me that you refuse to recognize this reality that I’m talking about. It appears to me that when you encounter this reality of people describing their various meanings of these religious type words, you try to convince them that whatever meaning they have is wrong or an incorrect understanding of how these words are supposed to be organized.

      It’s a kind a stalemate. I think.

      If someone says there is no god, I would ask what they mean by that.

      Ask them what the word God means. Ask him what they’re saying when they say “does not exist”.

      When I ask people who use such sentences and words what they actually mean, Usually I find the same kind of resistance or the same kind of limitation that I am finding in my discussion with you about God.

      I find that even though they say that God God does not exist, that they come to a certain level where they stop asking themselves what the meaning of that sentence is.

      They come to us self reflecting library that they assume is supposed to be universal, that everyone who is intelligent should understand what I mean by the phrase “God does not exist”.

      It’s the same thing. Most people when you start asking them what they actually mean by various things they’re saying, eventually they have to resort to some authorized rendition of what terms mean as if that authorized rendition is supposed to be imposed upon every human being that exists.

      It’s not that we need a common definition in order to communicate. It’s that communication begins with the definition. Communication doesn’t begin and then end with the definition; definition is where we start to talk about something. Definition is the opening unto which human beings involve themselves with the world. Definition is not the flat universal eternal existing for all time no matter what anyone says way of the absolute universe.

      1. Being open to others’ words and definitions is fine. On the other hand, are people ever simply wrong? Specifically, are people ever wrong about our story?

      2. …but, wrong with reference to what story ? If we’re referencing stories, how are we to know first of all whether someone is incorrect referencing a story, and then how are we to know whether that story that they are referencing is correct or not?

      3. Which story?

        The story we all share. Our essential story. The Big Story.

        How do we know whether the story someone is telling is correct or not?

        I think it involves listening to discern how consistent, comprehensive, coherent, and cogent one’s telling of our story is.

      4. But what is the story we all share?

        Have you found evidence of a story that we all share every single human on the planet?

        That story is exactly your story. The story that goes on, that is you, the big story that David has, that David is through which everything that can possibly exist or be known is filtered.

        The big story that “we all share“ is only the story that is David.

        I would challenge you to go out into the world and ask everyone you meet to tell you their “big story”.

        I would bet that you will find hardly any examples of “our story“ that correlates with what you know as “our big story”.

        The only way you know of this “big story is from your own knowing of the big story.

        Talk with the people at your church about the Bible and see how many people agree. And then sit with all these people in and ask them what the various terms and the various text sentences in the various stories within the story is actually mean.

        So I tell you “Jesus will save me from my sins” .

        What does that mean?

        Are you able to come up with a meaning of that sentence that does not refer back into this one book that you believe that God has bestowed upon the planet and communed with you in the effort to spread this particular method method or messag are you able to come up with a meaning of that sentence that does not refer back into this one book that you believe that God has bestowed upon the planet and communed with you in the effort to spread this particular message To the 7 billion people that exist on this planet right now.

        How incredibly coincidental that God happened to choose you to convey the actual true big story of us all to.

        Don’t you think?

        How interestingly coincidental that it just so happens that there is this book that you have read and it is told you personally this story that God wants you to know and that God wants you to take and convince 7 billion people of how correct it is and how their story, as they actually tell I didn’t know it, actually is not as true as this particular story that David knows called “our big story”.

        I mean come on.

        Have some humanity.

        Do you really think it is your obligation to go tell someone who is suffering that the only way that they can stop their suffering is that they believe in Jesus Christ will save their soul?

        Is there no other way that a person suffering can be stopped?

        I think if you look for the evidence of “our story” you’ll realize that it in is indeed not this “one story that David nose has been communicated by God through this one book of billions and billions of books that have been written

        i’m sorry but it’s so self-centered Lee serving and arrogant, it’s kind of offensive.

        Lol

        I’m sorry.

        We have been through this circle before.

        The end of us talking about the big story is that you simply will not believe that what I am telling you is true.

        Regardless of any conversation that we have regardless of whatever sort of orbit we want to take, we always come back to the simple fact that you are in validating the truth that is actually true for me.

        And that’s what it’s totally offensive.

        I can except that you cannot understand what I’m saying because it makes perfect sense to me why you cannot understand it.

        But I cannot except you standing there and basically condemning me because I’m not using the exact words and phrases that you are.

        I mean honestly, it appears that you’re not really genuinely interacting with other human beings. You are interacting with other human beings with the agenda of getting them to confirm what you believe is true.

        The big story that we all share is that we all tell stories. That’s it.

        I’m sorry that you live in your own tiny world in your head that tells you that whatever you think is true must be true for everyone else on the planet.

        I don’t know what else to say man.

        The consistent comprehensive coherent and cogent story is exactly what you are telling yourself.

        And you are a human being.

        And every single human being does the same thing.

        It doesn’t mean that you can’t help some people because the message of Jesus Christ in the Bible might appeal to them.

        But the message of Islam might appeal to other people.

        OK I’m going to stop now because there really is no point in having this conversation because you don’t want to converse, you want to direct the conversation back into what you know is true and then try and convince me that I’m wrong somehow.

        K

        .

      5. Oops, I didn’t see this comment before the last comment I sent, or I wouldn’t have sent it. It sounds like you are done with this conversation.

        But, I would like to say that The Bible might not be as small a point of reference as you are making it out to be. It is possible that God has communicated it to us, and that it is of singular importance.

      6. I’m not necessarily done with the conversation.
        ⛹🏼‍♀️

        Sure it is possible that God communicated the Bible to us. But it seems , even if you and Itake the Bible as a Common reference that God communicated to us or gave to us, not even you and I can agree on what it’s really saying or what it’s really talking about.

        I feel like the Bible is talking about the experience of being human. And so when the Bible has various sentences and stuff I take that to be referring very truthfully to the experience of my life and how it works and things have come across etc.

        It seems to me that when you reference the Bible you are taking it as referring only to the Bible as if you were outside of it .

        Maybe that’s it: I take the communication of God as indeed evidence of my situation of existence.

        And it appears to me that you take communication from God as some situation that you are not a part of that you want to be a part of or something. Or that you have to make some decision to be a part of.

        I think we’ve talked about choice before; I read the Bible and I see the meaning that I have a vet involving no choice whatsoever. It appears to me in tact, cogent, fully applying to my daily life in all of my affairs having nothing to do with what choice I make up on the matter. And I speak of this as a true reflection of what is true.

        It seems to me that when you read the Bible it says though something outside of you is talking to you about things that you should or could or might choose upon doing.

      7. I think we agree as helpers. We are here to be of service and we’re trying to help people.

        Pretty much you can put any quotein the Bible you want in front of me and I’ll say yeah I agree. You can talk about whatever tenets of faith of the Christian faith you want to say, and I’ll say yeah I agree. And I won’t be lying.

        But when we start to talk about what all those things mean, all of a sudden you start telling me exactly what they are supposed to mean, instead of allowing those words to open up a line of communication between us. You start telling me how I’m supposed to think and what I’m supposed to think about the world.

        That’s kind of offensive.

      8. If you could point me to an example of me committing the offense of telling you what you’re supposed to think about the world, that would be helpful, because I don’t know what you’re talking about.

      9. Lol. Maybe I’m over stating.

        I think it is more that if we talk about the fall, say, then the only context you have to talk about the fall is what it says in the Bible.

        It appears to me that the only meaning or ability for meaning that you have comes from cross-referencing various things that the Bible says.

        But all is cross-referencing, to me, doesn’t really tell me what anything means.

      10. … I appreciate your interaction because it allows for my mind to work in new directions.

        Somehow I feel in your pastoring, that at some point can you counseling your flock, so to speak, you must engage the person or people along the lines of Jesus.

        I feel that you must at some point ask them what Jesus means to them.

        Somehow I feel that you don’t counsel them by tying everything up in neat bows.

        Perhaps with some people they might want you to wrap everything up for them and hand them this perfect piece of Organization that they can feel comfortable about and less anxious.

        But for some people I would imagine you have to let things stay open. I would imagine in your counseling them that you would have to abstain from the attempt to impose the sense that you are making of their situation upon the sense that they are actually making, and allow for them to have their own process in the Christian world.

        I suppose that I too will encounter both kinds of situations.

  2. “I think we share a common story, and I don’t think that all renditions are equally faithful to the story we share.” Maybe not ‘mincing’. But maybe ‘dicing’. Or soufflé.

    Is the only way to know whether another person shares the same story as you that they use the same words?

    We have discussed at length this “common story“ that we both agree upon, and yet when we start to talk about the details it became very obvious that you don’t agree that you and I have the same common story, or at least I don’t think that you see me as understanding the same story as you.

    How do you explain that?

    1. When have we ever detailed a metanarrative that we both agreed on?

      When have you ever detailed a metanarrative!

      Yes, the only way to know if another person shares the same story is if they use the same words, or if the different words one uses are revealing or clarifying within a consistent, comprehensive, and coherent story.

      So, for example, a long time ago, when you suggested that the fall of humanity occurred with the advent of consciousness, I told you that I don’t think that’s a faithful telling of our story. (For one thing, I don’t think you gave that event any kind of narrative context. It also neglected any volitional feature, and I think that is an important part of humanity’s fall.)

      I don’t think we ever discovered much commonality regarding The Fall. I am remembering more inconsistency and incoherence between us, and — maybe more importantly — a huge reluctance on your part to even participate in Big Story-telling.

      1. exactly. We both have said we think the Bible is the telling of the most cogent story of humanity (more or less, this is what you and I have agreed upon) yet when we start to talk, you disagree with me.

        I say that the Bible story it is the most cogent Because of how consciousness functions. you said you don’t agree. so thats it.

        While I do understand what you are saying of the Bible Big Story, because indeed I was raised Lutheran, and was very into my religion and the Bible for much of my youth. you do not understand nor agree with what I am saying about consciousness and how the Bible is historical story about how human consciousness is playing out in and as world, but as well, a story about human consciousness doing human consciousness things, such as the very usual experience that occurs when one realizes its own reflection.

        You totally disagree with that cogent story. so thats it. You don’t have to convince me of yours because I already know it, I already know that Story and what it is saying.

        The issue is that you are unable to understand what I am saying or agree with it.

        So I keep asking you, what does that say about your cogent story? and what does it say about your and I relationship ? Either you must have some some of dismissing attitude toward me, or you must acknowledge that it could be true.

        Is there another position to have?

        The Big Story is, at once, a particular story about a singular-actual situation which is true, which one must have faith in in order to receive an eternal reward. One story among many such stories which huge amounts of people think is true for whatever reasons. and, as well, at the same time, the Story of what human consciousness Does (make stories) as well as what happens to someone when they come upon the situation of viewing their own consciousness functioning to create a meaningful world.

        Like a cake. The Big Story is all the ingredients doing their thing. as well it is “The cake” denying that the ingredients reflect a “cake in themselves”: for example: a table is the bod story of the table; the floor the big story of the floor, the room…the house…the community…the fields.. the roads…the city..the country…the world..the universe…

        All such things are the Big Story of themselves. Even as these Big Stories seems to add up to one culminating Big Big Story: The Big Big Story is ultimately only the Big Story: the table telling the big story of the table.. the human being telling the Big Story of itself. The universe telling the Big Story of the Universe…

        The only differences between stories is all part of the individual Big Stories. The Bible shows how consciousness functions in this manner, one one hand particular to a history of a particular group of people, and on the other, the very individual story of how the Big Story comes to appear and function.

        whew! Ok I gotta do school work now.

      2. “Like a cake. The Big Story is all the ingredients doing their thing. as well it is “The cake” denying that the ingredients reflect a “cake in themselves”

        At this point, I don’t see that feature of consciousness being as central to our story as you seem to.

        ***

        “for example: a table is the big story of the table; the floor the big story of the floor. . . .”

        I don’t really know what you are talking about. Don’t you need a much different descriptor for that sentence than “big”? More like: a table is the particular story of the table, the floor the particular story of the floor.

      3. The Big Story that is self evident of David (you) is no different than the Big Story: your big story accounts for, makes sense of, establishes the criteria of what cogent means, you the world the universe everything: “the big story”

        The same with mine ,the same with me.

        The Bible tells about a particular group of people that coalesced around a couple people who had the experience that is the awareness of “the big story” that is their own consciousness coming to an awareness about what it is doing.

        The Bible tells “the big story“ of a history of this group of people that coalesced around various figures who had this type of experience; But as well “the big story” is the experience of the coming to awareness of what Consciousness Ness is doing, as it is also the story, “the big story“ of an individual person having that experience.

        The very fact that you’re not understanding what I’m telling you points to the fact that you, David, have to come to terms with the fact that what I’m telling you is indeed the truth of “the big story“ is not the same as what you are understanding as “the big story“.

        You either believe me or you believe that you have to tell me what is actually true.

        You either have to believe that I indeed know the big story as absolutely true that no one can prove to me any differently because it is actually the truth of the “big story“,

        Or

        Your (David) Big story is informing you that only what you know as “the big story“ is true and if everyone else does not match the terms that you are using that makes sense to you to tell you what the true big story is – if other people are not using the same words the same definitions as you, then you get to tell them that they are incorrect, sinful, not understanding things correctly, and otherwise in validate that other person.

        In short, because you have had a certain communication with God about the truth of the matter now you have to go out into the world and tell everyone else about this big T truth “the big story” of what it actually is as though all these other people who are not using the same words as you are wrong incorrect whatever it is

        when it comes down to it either you believe in the validity and truth of my existence and what I’m telling you about my relationship with God and how the big story is actually the big story,

        Or

        You don’t believe me and you invalidate what I’m trying to tell you. .

      4. I’m saying that it is not merely “interpretation”, as though there is only one correct interpretation of “The Big Story”.

        The idea of “Interpretation” is already a misunderstanding of what I’m trying to tell you.

        I understand what you’re communicating to me; I understand all about the Christian interpretation of the Bible.

        But I have come upon another experience of what the Bible actually is that has nothing to do with interpretation.

        And because of this awareness I can see that the Bible is speaking about something that is essentially different than a “correct interpretation”.

        This does not mean that the typical Christian interpretation is wrong. It means that there is more than one “correct way”.

      5. …so back to the essay of the link:

        God could be said to be the Way the self relates to world (spirit). And the Way the self relates to community (religion).

      6. If you were to tell me what a table is, every possible thing about the table, you would be telling me a part of The Big Story: that part of the Big Story where the table makes sense.

        The Big Story for the table is the story that the table has. It’s Big Story.

        You are like a table in The Big Story that I know. Albeit of its own qualities, interacting with me in different ways than the table does, but in terms the Big Story, you are a part of it in the way that you are as David the Big Story guy. 😄

      7. On a slightly different note:

        It seems to me that once we say “religion” and we understand the word to indicate something other than what the particular “religion” means, then we necessarily are discussing something other than whether the content is true or false, but are talking about how those “objects” to which the term “religion” refers, i.e. Islam, Christianity, Wicca, etc… relate. what might be common of them, different, aspects, etc..

        If you think about, say, Judaism. It was not a religion. It was the Truth. It only became a religion when there was another group who didn’t ascribe to those laws and such. And then not even then did it become a religion. There were no religions until like 1000 years after Christ. Christianity wasn’t a religion. It was another Truth that entered the arena of battling over what is True.

        there wasn’t even Faith. Faith, in the connect of religion, is something that one has to Will for. There is no need to Will for anything or believe anything if you are killing people because they do not think the same as you. It is only when there are many more people who think differently than you than there are apparently people who think like you, that you have to “have faith” the what you understand as true is indeed true.

        If it is the truth, there is no need to believe. The truth is the truth. It doesn’t matter what any else thinks because the truth is the truth, including that fact that they don’t believe it: that fact is true, there is no need to prove to them that their “not true” is true in its being not true.

        It is only when a person of faith is overcome with the bare fact that an overwhelming number of people do not see the truth, and that you cannot get rid of them, that now one who has faith must “have compassion” for others to try to convince them or get them to see that their “not truth” is indeed “not true”. Hence this ethical mandate is not some essential vine commandment or gift from God as much as it is a manner by which consciousness is attempting to deal with the contradiction of knowing something is true that no one else understands.

        If I know the truth, then it is true. Nothing that can happen can disprove to me the truth. It is not “my” truth. It is simply true. It only becomes “my” truth to the extent that I could be wrong. but then it woyuldnt be the truth, but merely a belief or religious faith.

  3. Then, what do those things — making one’s way into community and relating to oneself — have to do with God? You mentioned being allowed to live. Anything else?

    You asked if religion and spirituality are aspects of being human or titles for aspects of truth. It seems like they would be both.

      1. I think it’s an interesting concept — and true. The story of this God, The Way, would be even more valuable than the concept.

      2. The problem though. I think, is when some people demand that The Way must be the way that they found, such that if another’s Way does not appear to match their own, then they feel compelled to pronounce that other Way as ignorant, false, sinful, pitiable, or any number of other dismissing and invalidating pronunciations Of invalidation.

        The Story is not The Story Of one person demanding that his conference with God demands that everyone comply. The Story is indeed everyone finding their own Way.

        The difference, as you and I have found I think, is that cogency is not sufficient, Becuase, for one, I could not get to to see what is most cogent. And you will not recognize a cogent story that I cannot convince you of.

        So, that leaves you either to feel sorry for me or damn me. While my, for example, communion with God is intact and true, as an example. Even as I cannot prove it to you.

        The story of the Way that is God is the story of my life, just as the Way of your story is likewise God. There is no common cogency that can be proven. One is left only to believe and take it on faith that God indeed has the plan and does not need to tell us about it.

        No?

      3. I don’t know that it’s true that there is no common cogency that can be proven. But, I’m confident that it’s not true that there is no common cogency, and I think that’s important. (Sorry about the double negative.)

        I think we share a common story, and I don’t think that all renditions are equally faithful to the story we share.

      4. I think you are mincing words. The common story is that we all share a common story. I may not be faithful to “our” story that you understand; but it is equally evident to me that you are not faithful to “our” story that I know. Either you must admit the equally trueness of this situation as references “our” story, or you have to damn me, or otherwise invalidate what I know as absolutely true. There is no other position to have in this situation.

        That is to say; can you think of another one?

      5. What do you mean by mincing words?

        You just said, “The common story is that we all share a common story.” What value is there in that statement? It sounds one step removed from what matters.

  4. Some clever thoughts on Spirituality and Religion. But was there any consideration of God? (I started skimming toward the end.)

    1. Not specifically. But one could make the argument, that Religion, as the way one makes her way into community, has to do with God as that which allows one to live. Spirituality, as the way one relates with the self and the world, could be also said to have to do with God.

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