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1  Psychic and Paranormal / Welcome to Psychic and Paranormal! / Eliminating the nonphysical influence of another person? on: August 19, 2005, 07:25:35
Long time no post.  ::waves::

Hm... hopefully I'll be able to explain what I'm asking in a way that makes at least some sense, because I'm not sure I fully understand the concepts involved myself.

Recent circumstances have led me to believe that when two people are close enough, for long enough, their respective influences (energies?) merge in a sense, until a balance is reached.  Well, if both people are relatively positive and well adjusted, this can be a good thing... their positive influences and strength will reflect and magnify each other.  But if one of them is really negative, unstable, dependent, etc... not so much.  The more negative person may derive some benefit from such an arrangement and be somewhat "lifted up," but meanwhile the positive person is being pulled down and held at a level that probably isn't entirely healthy.

I myself just got out of a similar situation a few months ago, and for many reasons, am now looking into making sure this person's influence is eliminated from my life, and mine from theirs, at every possible level, for the sake of my own well being.  I think I have a pretty decent understanding of how this can be done internally, and have had good results with my methods, though I'd still be open to suggestions.  What I'm wondering about is whether these influences can remain in/on physical objects that were associated with the relationship, and if so, how that influence can be gotten rid of without necessarily getting rid of or destroying the object.  Most stuff I do plan on destroying because it'll be easier, but other things I'd kinda like to not just toss out, like a printer and a digital camera, heh.

So yeah, I'm curious as to whether this is even a valid concern at all... this isn't really my area of expertise, so for all I know these things might not even work that way.  And, if it is, what can be done about it.

Thanks in advance.  Smiley
2  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Are any of you Christian Astral Projectors? on: April 02, 2005, 10:59:10
Greetings BlueLight,

I'm a Christian, though I've taken to classifying myself only as "unorthodox."  I'm very much into AP, though I've never actually succeeded yet.

Too tired at the moment to elaborate more, but yeah, we're out there.  Smiley
3  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / "Haunted" Nintendo Entertainment System on Ebay on: March 15, 2005, 19:35:56
Hey, y'never know, there could be something to this.  Not something worth paying $200 for a system that cost that much when it came out in, what, '83?  But still.  If "attachments" and such work like I think they do, I totally knew enough kids who were addicted to Nintendo when it first came out to the point that it wouldn't surprise me, heh.  Not sure how advisable it'd be to invite that into your house... and pay for it no less, though.

Or maybe I've just been reading too much Bruce Moen lately.  Tongue
4  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Seeing Spiders immediately upon waking on: March 03, 2005, 09:20:14
once even touched one of them.

Heh, I did that too.  Put my hand through a giant scorpion that I knew wasn't really there (or should I say, wasn't physical) just to see what would happen.  Nothing did, and it disappeared within a few seconds.  It'd be interesting to see any of these things actually respond somehow, though.
5  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Seeing Spiders immediately upon waking on: March 02, 2005, 03:32:03
Yep, I've had the same experience on more than one occasion.  For me the spiders are only the beginning of a whole list of strange things I've seen, though.  It's always the same; I'll snap awake suddenly for no apparent reason, look over, and there's an image of something either on the wall or hovering somewhere in the room.  Most of them look solid enough to be real, but pretty soon they start to fade and disappear.  A while back, I posted about my experiences here, which you can read if you're interested.  This stuff seems to have stopped for the time being though; I haven't had it happen in several months, I don't think.

Oh!  A few months ago I kept having experiences where I'd nod off for a second or two, and when I'd snap awake again, there'd be either a string of random numbers or letters streaming by that would do the same thing: fade and disappear.  Most often, they'd stream by when I'd been watching something on a screen.  It happened watching a movie with my girlfriend, and it also happened in class when I was supposed to be watching some documentary, but ended up doing more sleeping than watching, heh (bad horse!).

Anyway, I still don't really have any idea what they are, though IIRC, Robert Bruce does mention "astral spiders" in his psychic self defense book.
6  Metaphysics / Welcome to Metaphysics! / Relativity of Time on: February 26, 2005, 07:10:49
Very interesting; definitely keep us posted if this happens again, or if you have any new revelations.  This is actually a favorite topic of mine and something I've been playing with quite a bit lately.  Unfortunately part of my theory includes being able to LD and/or AP at will, which I'm nowhere near, so theorizing is really all I've got as of now.
7  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / 7 Days on: February 22, 2005, 18:54:30
Quote from: Nay
I'M the ONE doing the bullying?

No, now you seem to have shifted gears over to ridicule, with a few straw men thrown in for good measure.
8  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / 7 Days on: February 22, 2005, 10:40:18
Quote from: karnautrahl
Watch out folks that this fellows influencedoesn't create a battle where there wasn't one before. Because that'swhat it feels like is happening, nice and subtle-or not that subtle buta fight is sort of slowly brewing here in pages 5 and 6. Now that'sclever influence...isn't it?

I should probably say now that starting or being involved in a "battle" is not my intent.  Just because I take issue with the way things are done in some cases and have no problem saying so, doesn't mean I necessarily have anything personal against the people involved.  I don't know Nay personally, so I'm in no position to judge.  At the same time, I have a thing about wanting to see people live up to their full potential, or not keep others from doing so at the very least.  Thus, when I see things like bullying, censorship, evasion and projection going on, yeah, I'll probably say something, and everyone else is of course free to consider what I have to say, or tell me I'm full of shyte.  That's what being a free human being is all about.  

In answer to one of Nay's questions that will inevitably be raised again in response to this -- I didn't consider Oazaki's original offense "intimidation" since it came in the form of a choice that the other party was free not to even participate in at all.  As for this latest one, if you want to take it at face value, then yes, I'll acknowledge that it is.  However, obviously no one here is much intimidated by it, and I have a hunch Oazaki knew that'd be the case when he posted, for whatever else his intention might've been.  So in that sense, it's really not.  That doesn't mean I necessarily condone anything that's going on here.  It also doesn't necessarily mean that it matters either way what I think.  You've already proven that much with your responses.

Quote from: Nostic
I know it's always amusing to me when mods get likened to the Bush administration. LOL, now THAT put a smile on my face.  

Eh, you're taking me far too literally there.  Nay might've exhibited the same coping mechanism they have on more than one occasion, but then, so do a lot of people... it's not exactly uncommon.  The Bush quote was just the most well recognized example that came to mind.

I'll also say that I find the moderating here to be generally well done, and the staff here has a lot of good people.  I just find the occasional censorship without explanation... troubling, especially in a forum that otensibly prides itself on freedom and openmindedness.
9  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / 7 Days on: February 22, 2005, 06:12:13
You're projecting again.
10  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / 7 Days on: February 22, 2005, 05:35:15
And I am wondering how in the world I can be compared to terrorism

You're not being compared with terrorism, you're being accused of intimidation tactics.  In other words, you're dodging responsibility for your own actions by implying that Adam questioning your decision means he approves of the threats that were made... as if no other possibility exists.  My quote was meant to point out the similarity to the way the Bush administration used the same tactics to equate political dissent with terrorism, in order to evade personal responsibility themselves.

What a great way to spend a birthday.

All the drama aside -- happy birthday.  Hope it was a good one.
11  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / 7 Days on: February 22, 2005, 05:11:22
Once again I find myself thinking.....hmmm..why are YOU so interested and plus we owe no explanation.

I personally am interested in knowing why dozens of people, including me, had their writings censored for the sake of removing a few (as in, probably less than five total) threatening references.

You're right, as a mod, you owe no explanation.  All writings submitted become the property of the Astral Pulse, yadda yadda ad infinitum.

But as a human being, it'd certainly be nice to see some accountability and common courtesy.  I may not approve of all Oazaki's methods or believe everything he says, but in that regard, the guy's got a point.

Frankly it makes me pause, are you someone whom advocates such behavior?

"You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists."  Gee, sounds all too familiar.  And the "logic" equally fallacious, I might add.   rolleyes
12  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Overcoming fears and false beliefs on: February 22, 2005, 01:18:00
Quote from: wisp

Nice to hear you had a long awaited oobe!  Smiley

Eh, in one sense I didn't really consider it one.  It was more like a non-lucid dream -- it just had many of the same characteristics of all the retrievals I've been reading about.  I thought the sensations that followed might have lead to an actual OBE, but I couldn't pull it off.  Then again, since I have been reading so much about retrievals, it might have been created by that as well.

In another sense though, I consider dreams (lucid and otherwise) OBEs, etc, as just points of reference on the spectrum of consciousness.  Perhaps the only difference is that of more or less lucidity.  So I do consider it a milestone along the path in that respect, which is very encouraging.
13  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Overcoming fears and false beliefs on: February 20, 2005, 01:14:56
Hiya wisp, thanks for the reply.

I don't think my experience was due to any incompetence or malice on the anaesthesiologist's part.  I think it's just the fact that everyone's body is different, and no one can really predict with total accuracy what effect a given drug will have.  All they have is a "best guess" based on their accumulated data -- not a very comforting thought, but that's the reality of it.

Aaaanyway, wow, I really do think this is working.  Last night before I went to bed, I addressed the following with this "system"...

--Fear off the "spirit world" brought about by religious conditioning.
--Fear of spirits and other nonphysical entities for the same reason.
--Insecurity about being considered, or considering myself "not all there" for taking AP and related pursuits seriously.
--Inability to perceive nonphysical stimulus due to the idea that only physical sensory input is "real."
--Re-addressed the association between strange sensations and dying.

I think that's everything.

So, after all that I fell asleep.  At some point, I don't know if I was awake, or half awake, or what... but I felt like I was being repeatedly struck by lightning (there *was* a hell of a storm going on last night... coincidence?).  However, I was oddly unafraid, and able to passively observe this "process" to completion.

Then I woke up this morning, checked my email and went back to bed.  As I was going back to sleep, I put out the intent to do a retrieval.  I then had a dream where I was walking through some sort of park-like environment.  I came upon two Muslim guys doing some sort of prayer service, and they took no notice of me at all until I was literally almost right on top of them.  For some reason I thought it'd be a good idea to walk right through the middle of what they were doing.  At this point one of them looked up at me for the first time, appearing rather angry, and got up to follow me.  I turned back with this "I know something you don't know" smile... and rose up about fifteen feet in the air.  AngryGuy got this really surprised look, and at this point the dream scene sort of melted away, and I felt some really heavy vibrations.  Tried to turn them into a full exit, but it didn't happen and I woke up completely.

But WOW.  What a crazy night this has been.  And all this, after not even having any dream recall, let alone exit symptoms or anything else, for weeks now.
14  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / here the lost books of the bible!!!!!!! on: February 19, 2005, 01:07:45
What you said is all well and good, but it's beside the point.  I make no claim about whether or not reincarnation is true, and I leave it open as a distinct possibility.

However, that doesn't change the fact that the Bible does not teach reincarnation, and neither did the early Church.
15  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / here the lost books of the bible!!!!!!! on: February 19, 2005, 00:34:19
I'm not positive, but I think Anglican Bibles might still contain the Apocrypha too.  It'd make sense, since they're technically not Protestant.

"They will wander to & Fro" is still in todays New Testament.

Perhaps you could cite the actual verse you're referring to, as I'm not sure what you're getting at here.  

Other than that, I'm still pretty much going to have to side with Berserk on this one.

If eternal Hell is a lie how much of the Catholic bible can you believe???

Quite a bit, but that's because I continuously research to find out more about what's been mistranslated, what was forged, what I would consider legitimate, and so forth.  How much YOU can believe is, of course, up to you.

The Catholic Church blames Luther for protestants but in actuality it was Henry viii who started protestants by kicking the Catholic Church out of England mainly because the Catholic church took to much money out of England back to Rome.

Henry VIII was PO'ed because the Catholic Church wouldn't grant his divorce, so he basically named himself the leader of the Church in England, instead of the Pope.

Luther posted his 95 Theses in 1517, which is generally recognized as the event that ignited the Protestant Reformation.  Henry VIII's break with the Catholic church did not come until 1534, seventeen years later.
16  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / here the lost books of the bible!!!!!!! on: February 18, 2005, 23:58:56
Quote from: MrBurgo
There are some lost Books as my mother has a 100 odd year old bible that is completely different to that of today!!!

It might be a Catholic Bible.  Catholics still consider the Apocrypha part of their scripture, whereas Protestants don't.  

Not known to many but reincarnation was in the bible till the catholics decided to lose that bit otherwise they couldn't control people by threatening people with eternal damnation in hell.

The reason it's not well known is that it simply isn't true.  Rather than reinventing the wheel however, I'll simply point you to Berserk's excellent post that covers the topic in depth.

You are correct about the idea of eternal hell being false, however.  I cover that subject in an essay of mine if anyone's interested.
17  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Overcoming fears and false beliefs on: February 17, 2005, 08:47:26
In my quest to AP, I ended up on the same side-quest most of us experience -- that of dealing with mental blocks, false associations and fear.

For me, one of the biggest blocks has been the fact that my body goes into panic mode at the first hint of trance or exit symptoms.  The reason for this is the context in which I've felt them in the past.  When I was younger and had to have an operation, I had an odd experience with the anaesthesia that I now think was an artificially induced deep trance.  As I was going out, suddenly I felt a full body cold numbness and a dramatic falling sensation all at once.  Of course when you're ten years old and already heavily sedated and thus not thinking clearly anyway, the only conclusion I could reach before I was out completely was "holy <bleep>, I'm dying!"  That association has stuck with me ever since.  I've always thought that if I could overcome that, I'd be one step ahead of the game because I already know what the sensations are and how to mentally duplicate them... but I've never had much luck knowing how to even approach it.  Until now.

I've been reading a lot of Bruce Moen's material lately, and I've already read just about all of Robert Bruce's.  What finally came to me was a combination of Bruce's tactile imaging and Moen's technique for changing or eliminating beliefs (link).  

I start by doing Bruce's full body relaxation technique and some NEW to get myself in a relaxed meditative state.  I then bring up mental images representing the two things whose association I'm trying to break -- in this case the first was me on the op table, and the second was a combination of picturing myself feeling the sensations and actually feeling them.  I then picture these two concepts connected by cords that meet in the middle and plug into each other, like an extension cord.  I feel myself taking hold of these cords and physically unplugging them, and let the operation image fade away.  I then bring up a third image that is to be the new association -- in this case I used the image and sensations of myself flying free, like in those flying dreams that are so much fun, as a fitting symbol of the freedom I'm seeking via AP.  I finish the whole process by plugging the old concept into the new image.

I've only been experimenting with this, as well as the changing and eliminating of beliefs for a few days, but it really appears to be working.  I can now mentally reproduce those sensations without the old feelings arising.  I've also been addressing other sources of fear with these methods... and whereas I could formerly produce a slight sensation of fear just by imagining them, now there's nothing there where said fear used to be.

I'm posting in hopes that others could benefit from this, and even expand on it and compare notes.  I definitely plan on playing with it a lot more myself.
18  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Projection Experiences! / Faraway can be so close... on: February 16, 2005, 19:19:36
Great story, Stone.  One of my biggest motivations for wanting to AP is to overcome some distance issues of my own, and this is awesome verification that it can be done, and can be real.  Right on.  Cheesy
19  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / here the lost books of the bible!!!!!!! on: February 16, 2005, 09:57:18
I wouldn't trust much of the stuff on the CARM website -- it's extremely biased to a conservative evangelical viewpoint, and the webmaster is a devout Calvinist.  What's more, I've personally witnessed a lot of questionable activity on his part, from intellectual dishonesty to censorship of dissenting views to the sort of namecalling we thought we left behind in third grade.

Better site on all the "lost" books available to us:

I like it because not only does it have all the texts, it often has multiple translations, background info, commentary, and all sorts of other fun stuff.
20  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Virgin Birth on: February 12, 2005, 05:53:26
First of all, you are comparing what I have suggested to the standard understanding of the events of the first-third centuries. I think too much has been taken literally in this regard.

Would I be correct to assume you believe the biblical manuscripts we have were "doctored" after the fact to conform with the beliefs of the proto-orthodox?

While I believe this is quite possible/probable, especially because as far as I know, the oldest manuscripts we have are from around the time of Constantine, I'm skeptical about the extent to which they could have gotten away with it.  I mean, if there's a tradition thats been handed down for 2-3 centuries that says history went a certain way, and suddenly said tradition is completely revised according to the interests of the powers that be, aren't people going to notice?

Because of the fact that New Testament scripture is all the actual history we have to rely upon (except Josephus) there is a constant tension between biblical history and what real history quite possibly was.

While it's not uncommon to see various agendas at work in scripture, I tend to view them as generally reliable.  For one, they have enough agreement between them about the gist of what happened, even if they don't always get their details straight.  To me, their differences seem about right for what was four different strains of oral tradition for the first few decades, and then got written down in different communities.  And, their similarities lead me to believe they all point back to the same series of events.  What's more, if it was the imperial scribes who later falsified or dramatically revised these documents, then I'd think they would agree a lot more than they do in order to maintain consistency a high standard of consistency that Constantine was looking for in order to unify his empire.

Was there really a belief in an eschaton, or is that the impression we are left with from scripture?

Well, if there wasn't, then most of what we think we know about Jesus and Paul is wrong.  I believe there was, for a lot of different reasons... but then, I'm a partial preterist, so I s'pose that makes sense, eh?  Tongue

As such, I lean toward a date for Revelation that's much earlier than the traditionally assumed 90+... and I find it very interesting how much agreement there is between Josephus and Revelation, especially concerning certain supernatural and/or celestial events that were recorded by Josephus and Tacitus.

I also take into account Eusebius' statement about Christians escaping Jerusalem and scampering off into the mountains just before the siege.  I realize Eusebius is often considered unreliable due to his blatant biases and revisionism, but in this case I think he's telling the truth for two reasons.  One, this part doesn't come off like he has anything to prove -- it's just an aside, stated in a very matter of fact way.  Secondly, he certainly didn't have a vested interest in reporting this if it didn't actually happen... since it supports an interpretation of Revelation and Jesus' words that paint the Romans in a rather negative light.  

Anyway, my reason for bringing that up is that I believe there was a good reason the Christians got out just in time while so many other people perished.  This was because they were heeding the numerous warnings from Jesus about the fall of the temple and Jerusalem, as recorded in the gospels.

As to Origen being the primary church father to teach allegorically, you are mistaken there. Allegorical interpretions were banned when Origen's teachings were banned,but as early as the writer of the Pauline epistles and the book of Galatians "Sarah and Hagar" were being taught allegorically as "the heavenly journey to Jerusalem" and "the earthly journey to Jerusalem."Then about a century or so later, Clement also used allegorical interpretation before Origen.

Curious -- was allegorical interpretation officially banned, or just generally frowned upon by the Catholic hierarchy?  

Anyway, thanks for the correction.  I also have a hard time keeping straight who said what when, as my brain doesn't like to work in such a linear way, lol... but you're right, Clement came first.  I didn't realize allegory was introduced into Christian exegesis so early though either; interesting stuff, that.

May I suggest a different approach?

Looks like you already did.  Tongue  But yes, always.

Instead of relying upon scripture to inform you of what happened (incase that is all spiritual fiction) read up on Philo of Alexandria who died around 50-60 of the current era and would have been a contemporaryof the earliest Christians.

Philo's name seems to be coming up a whole lot in my various academic exploits lately, so I might have to do just that.  The only thing I'm skeptical about is that the relationship between the Christians and the rest of their Jewish brethren during his lifetime was not on the most amicable terms, so I'm not sure how much influence he could've had on the earliest church.  But I also wouldn't be surprised to learn that Christian teachers who came shortly after later picked up his work and went "Oooo."
It will not be easy to unravel the earliest Christianity to discoverwhat it was really all about, but it can be done to a great extent. You should also know that I am basing my opinion of this on my own research which I am in the process of getting published. In it you will be able to see a very different original Christianity, but until then, like I said above, look to other first century sources outside of the New Testament and see if you can find corroborating evidence for your own conclusions. That is what I have had to do!

I definitely look forward to getting my hands on a copy of your book; sounds like it'll be right in my area of focus and interest.  I'm always up for something different, no matter how far outside the realm of accepted dogma (which academic types often seem to have every bit as much as religious folks, it seems) it might be.

What if "revelatory gnosis" is actually the experience of pure reason and the knowledge received from such an experience?

Eh, I tend to consider gnosis as another category entirely, as I don't really see any parallels between it, and "normal" inductive or deductive human reason.  This sort of knowledge can't be approached by logic, because its insights often seem counterintuitive when compared to the sum of normative human experience.
But Philo of Alexandria was a Jew.

As were all first and second century Christians.

Granted, but my point was that Philo was talking about normative Jewish practice... and Christians weren't normative Jews.  I'm not sure if Christianity had even taken hold in Alexandria prior to Philo's death, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't long after the life of Christ till Christians weren't welcome in the synagogues any longer.  Thus began the era of the house-church.

This may have been true prior to 70 AD when the majority of Christians were still Jews, and Christianity was still a messianic sect within Judaism.However, the relationship between Christian Jews and Rabbinic Jews wasuncomfortable at best and violent at worst (Saul of Tarsus anyone?)until after the war, when that relationship was finally severed for good.

Once again, approach this from a different angle and see what you find.

I'm more than willing to, but currently I see no good reason to believe the above summary is fatally flawed and therefore in need of correction.

Take Origen's family for instance. We know that his father recognized Origen's high intellect at an early age and had him educated appropriately--in the Greek tradition. We also know that the members ofthis family were also early Christians--and while not a wealthly family, there was a financial benefactor involved in Origen'seducation. Origen's father actually died a martyr--leaving the young Origen in charge of the struggling family. Origen did not go out and preach the Christian message--he completed his education and became head of the school that Clement had once headed up, which actually taught that Christ was The Educator of the Rational Mind and the Virtuous Soul.  Clement and Origen were teachers--not preachers.You have to dig to find this information Palehorse, because it has notbeen advertised for obvious reasons, but the information is out therethat shines a very different light on the earliest decades ofChristianity.

Nah, I know enough about Origen to believe you... he's one of my favorite Christian figures, and probably the most underrated in history.  But I'm not entirely convinced his case was a typical or fair representation -- I'm sure it helped that he happened to live in the biggest center of learning in the empire.  Also, just because certain individuals were teachers, writers and scholars, doesn't necessarily mean there weren't also others who exercised gifts in other areas, such as prophecy, evangelism, humanitarian work, and so on.

"True Christianity" versus "non-Christianity" is a distinction that Origen made not me.

Hm... I have a "thematic anthology" of his writings I haven't gotten around to delving into in any great deal; I wonder if he talks about this in there.  I'd be interested in reading his take on all this in full.

I agree with the bit about meat and milk, progressively deeper layers of teaching, etc.  Though maybe it's my Protestant upbringing showing, but I'm rather averse to the idea of an extensive education being necessary in order to be able to connect with God via the Christian tradition.  Of course it helps, but I also think there's something to be said for "let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."  This ties into my beliefs on the major error of the first Gnostics vs. that of the proto-orthodox though.  The former tended toward elitism; the latter started admitting anyone without reserve, and both became equally unbalanced as a result.  Thus the former became inaccessible, completely alienated the exoteric church and was almost annihilated completely by the 4th century; whereas the latter threw out gnosis, embraced materiality and careened straight into the Dark Ages.

Christiansand their contemporaries wasn't nearly as friendly as you seem toindicate. For that matter, we see the same from Christians of competingfactions amongst each other, and occasionally amongst themselves (1John 2).

I am not sure where using discernment in learning of other cultures would lead you to think I was implying that everyone was "friendly"Huh??  

I meant that I haven't seen any evidence of early Christians placing value upon the study of other cultures, and if anything, the relationship between Christianity and other cultures and religions (which, in ancient times, were basically interchangeable) was antagonistic if anything.

Yes, there are certainly a lot of scholars involved here, and much of what I have found in my own research will no doubt contribute that this. Once again, it is Reason that is chomping at the bit of irrational faith-based beliefs.

I tend to lean more toward a synthesis between the two, as part of the same theme as what I said about the schism between the esoteric and exoteric Church above.  Faith without logic and scholarship has no substance upon which to stand -- it's the stuff fundamentalism of all varieties is made of.  On the other hand, with reason and scholarship alone it's far too easy to devolve into elitism, miss the forest for the trees, and at best is basically useless to the average man.  How many Deists do you run into nowadays?  Wink

We need, however, to remember that to seek and to find we must look everywhere for our answers...but most especially outside of the box.  That "box" being, the church's official position as well as many standard academic teachings.

Absolutely; that's why I really appreciate what people like you are doing.  This reminds me a lot of a Historical Jesus class I took last year taught by Robert Eisenman if you've heard of him.  He's criticized quite a bit for having theories that are speculative at best and just too far out there at worst... but damned if his unique approach didn't cause me to think about things in ways I never would have otherwise, and sent my own study off in several new directions.  Therein was the value of that class, above and beyond anything the crazy old guy actually said, heh.  Methinks we need more people like that in scholarship though... it keeps things fresh and interesting, and occasionally turns up something startling.  Not to say your own claims are speculative, as I haven't actually seen your research yet... but you've already said they're pretty far outside the box, and IMO that's a very important and necessary yet often underrated role.  So, well done there.  Smiley
21  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Anyone else think Christianity discriminates? on: February 10, 2005, 23:56:00
Palehorse, I was wondering why your name was PaleHorse. Does it represent the pale horseman of death in the 4 horses of the Apocalypse as described in Revelations?


The story behind it (if yer interested, heh) is that I picked it as a representation of two major aspects of my personality.  First, for whatever reason I've always tended to gravitate toward "dark" imagery, even since I was a lil' kid and the Count was my favorite character on Sesame Street, lol (for those who don't know what I'm talking about, he's a little vampire puppet who's obsessed with numbers).  Secondly, there's my interest in all things having to do with theology, spirituality, etc.  So, I thought "Palehorse" summed up both rather nicely, and I've used it for pretty much everything since I first got online around six years ago.

22  Healing / Welcome to the Healing place! / I am in the hospital on: February 10, 2005, 04:45:06
Surgery's no fun.   Sad   Thoughts and prayers toward your smooth and speedy recovery.
23  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Anyone else think Christianity discriminates? on: February 10, 2005, 01:17:40
You can contradict someones beliefs but be open, and not tell them that they are wrong, because they might be right.

No, you don't have to tell them they're wrong, but by contradicting, you've already implied it.

What I'm trying to get across here is that being told you're wrong isn't necessarily a bad thing.  If you can get past the natural emotional reaction and evaluate what is being said objectively, then it will cause you to re-evaluate your own beliefs, which will then either be strengthened or discarded and replaced.  Such is how personal growth is achieved.  I think that if you could learn to view Christians (and anyone you disagree with, really) as playing a necessary role, even providing a service, they will become much easier for you to deal with.  After all, they're telling you this either because they genuinely care about you, or because they feel a desparate need to validate themselves, and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out who's who before long.  If they're the former, then at the very least you can thank them for their concern and move on.  If it's the latter, maybe you could even help them to recognize their true motivations.

Christians contradict someones beliefs but are not open to it, and only believe that they can possibly be right.

First, I hope you'll take MustardSeed's suggestion to define exactly what you mean by "Christian," just to make sure we're all on the same page here.

Secondly, you're generalizing again.  There are Christians who do what you're describing and Christians who don't.  The same could be said for just about any belief system.  For instance, I've met some pretty militant atheists who are completely closed to the possibility that they could be wrong about the existence of a higher power, treat said possibility with derision, and spend a large portion of their time trying to force others to see the error of our ways.  Then again, I can't generalize about all atheists, as there are some really nice ones out there who couldn't care less about forcing their views on others; they simply lack a belief in God, and that's that.  Thus, your statement becomes essentially meaningless.

I think it should also be brought to your attention that your statements about Christianity are serving to tell us more about your emotional hangups with the religion than they are about the religion itself.

They might kick someone out oftheir church for contradicting them the slightest bit.

Who are "they"?  No two Christians interpret the Bible exactly alike if they've put any reasonable amount of thought into their beliefs, so any church who actually did this would soon become a very small church indeed.  Granted, some churches are more accepting of diversity than others, and some tend toward the more authoritarian side when it comes to their own brand of dogma, but that doesn't mean the latter is representing what Christ actually taught, or that all Christians should be judged according to the conduct of the few.

That is the difference from not believing someone's beliefs, and disciminating. Christians think they know the truth so why shouldn't they try to convert people? Well, people don't want to hear it,espescially when Christians have no proof that they're right.

More generalizations.  Obviously some people do want to hear it; otherwise Christianity would never gain any new converts.  However, if you've made it clear that you aren't receptive to what they have to say, and they continue in their efforts, then they are in violation of two specific "rules of engagement":

Quote from: Jesus
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
       --Matt 10:34

Do to others as you would have them do to you.
       --Luke 6:31

Buddhists etc. think they are right, but they aren't trying to force their religion onto others. And they aren't saying everyone elses beliefs are wrong.

That's because Buddhism operates according to a completely different paradigm, doesn't make historical truth claims, and for the most part are not exclusivists.

But somehow you still think that if you don't believe in someone's beliefs you are discrminating.

v. dis·crim·i·nat·ed, dis·crim·i·nat·ing, dis·crim·i·nates
v. intr.
a. To make a clear distinction; distinguish: discriminate among the options available.
b. To make sensible decisions; judge wisely.
To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit; show preference or prejudice

I post the dictionary definition not to be a smartass, but to show that it can be defined in two ways.  You appear to be focusing on the second, but I'm trying to show that although we all do the first, sometimes it's easy to judge people (like Christians) as if they've done the second, even if that's not their intent.  

Then again, I realize there are some Christians who will view you negatively if you aren't "in the club," but again, by doing so they are at odds with what Christ actually taught, and they are in the minority.

I think there is a big difference between that what was mentioned and what Christians do.

And I think you're discriminating against Christians here... and not in the good way.
24  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Anyone else think Christianity discriminates? on: February 09, 2005, 19:22:24
I always get a lot out of your posts, very insightful. I loved your last generalization  

Heh, thank ya.  I always get a lot out of your posts too.

This is how I define Christianity or a Christian, how does it look from over there

Very good point about the need to define our terms first.  All too often a discussion will start going in circles simply because the participants aren't even on the same page, and so could be talking about totally different things without even realizing.  So, good call there.

For our purposes, I define a Christian as someone whose belief system centers on the person Jesus of Nazareth, and who has at least the desire to follow his teachings.

You might notice my definition is about as inclusive as it gets, and that's my intention.  I mean to include everyone who self-identifies as Christian, regardless of whether I agree with their particular take on it, or whether their actions seem to reflect their faith.  Could this cause me to mislabel someone?  Possibly, but who am I to decide that?  I can debate the validity of specific beliefs, and make value judgments about actions, but that's where my abilities end.  They do not include the ability to judge men's hearts.  Especially for the purpose of open discussion, I find that if someone wants to call himself a Christian, then everyone involved is better off if I simply take him at his word.  Sure, I may vastly disagree with something about his approach, but at the very least, he'll be a lot more likely to listen to my take on it if I haven't immediately and rudely invalidated his whole belief system.  This is particularly useful when discussing with those of a more conservative persuasion (which is, incidentally, usually who I disagree with most strongly) as nothing shuts down such a one faster than invalidating that which they hold most dear.

And I think that about sums up my position on it.
25  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Anyone else think Christianity discriminates? on: February 09, 2005, 05:46:06
Quote from: NickJW
I accept others beliefs, and am open to them. It dosen't mean I believein them, but it dosen't mean that their wrong.

I don't know if you're a theist or an atheist... but using that as an example, if you're a theist, then naturally you believe all atheists are wrong.  If you're an atheist, then to you, all theists are wrong.  Many beliefs are like this in that they logically exclude their opposite, and I'd be willing to bet you hold a few yourself.

Quote from: NickJW
Christians on the otherhand, straight up tell you that what you believe in is wrong. Theyaren't open to anyone's beliefs and focus their attention on convertingpeople becuase they think their religion is BETTER than everyone elses.

For the Christians you speak of, the focus is not on what's "better," but what is true.  If we assume for the sake of argument that Christianity IS true, then why shouldn't they share what they have with others?  On the other hand, if you're both secure in your beliefs and willing to admit that you may be wrong as you indicated below, then why should it matter to you what Christians think?

Quote from: NickJW
Quote from: Palehorse
IMO, the only time it becomes a problem is when one lacks the ability to allow for the possibility that they could be wrong, or when one feels that their belief gives them a divine mandate to be an arseto their fellow human beings.
- this is exactly what Christians do. I do think I could be wrong in my beliefs, but that is a qualityChristians lack.

I don't think this is really a Christian issue per se, but rather a very human one.  Most people, no matter what their religion or lack thereof, are not terribly willing to admit any possibility that their most deeply cherished beliefs may be wrong.  Granted, many Christians do have this problem, but I think the real issue is that we notice it more from Christians because we both live in countries where they are the majority.  If you lived in, for instance, Iran, then you'd probably be saying the very same thing about Muslims.

Quote from: NickJW
(P.S.) Once again, I'm not describing all Christians, but the majority of Christians that I've met are like this.

You are still generalizing, however... and I'm trying to show that all generalizations are wrong.  Including this one.  Wink
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