Steve Briggs, Meditation and Indian Yogis Lead to ET |397|

#81
The problem is, in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries masturbation was considered to be horrible and devastative "self-abuse", leading to countless and severe physical and mental ailments. It was scientific, medical and social consensus at the time. In fact, it was seen almost exactly as "child sexual abuse" nowadays, with the only difference that a masturbating child was himself (or herself - girls masturbate, too) abuser and abused, both in the same time. No adult was needed.
I think that science is quick to help justify the obsessions of the day - be it intense Christian purity or 'Climate Change'. I mean is it totally absurd to have hoped that the church might have provided a brake on such ideas - pointing out that God had made people with genitals, and that such activity was normal? Didn't anyone in the Church stop and think how inspiring an intense fear of retribution for such acts was a horrible thing to do? Indeed that worshipping a god that would make people that way, and then threaten hell-fire on those who acted out the consequences, was pretty horrible!

Anyway, enough of this diversion - let's get back to the main topic!

David
 
#82
Let's get back to the main topic!
Indeed we should do it.

So, let me provide with the text that I consider one of the best writings on the topic of spirtuality and morality (and their relationship) - "The Nightmare of an Evil Good".

This is a great critique of the authoritarian and repressive religious moralism, especially the one that is used as a justification by an equally authoritarian and repressive state. It is written by Nikolai Berdyaev, Russian Christian philosopher and mystic, and a Liberatrian Socialist (and, in my opinion, one of the greatest spiritual philosophers of all time).

Please read it and tell me what you think! (I mean not only David, but everyone here).

P.S. Sad most people here don't speak Russian - Berdyaev should be read in original; no translation can recreate the incomparable poetic force of his original Russian writings. Yet, in the case that someone does speak Russian, the original of the aforementioned Berdyaev's article can be read here.

P.P.S. There is a mistake in the translation - "militant-leftist courts" in the beginning of text should be read as "military courts".
 
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#83
Indeed we should do it.

So, let me provide with the text that I consider one of the best writings on the topic of spirtuality and morality (and their relationship) - "The Nightmare of an Evil Good".

This is a great critique of the authoritarian and repressive religious moralism, especially the one that is used as a justification by an equally authoritarian and repressive state. It is written by Nikolai Berdyaev, Russian Christian philosopher and mystic, and a Liberatrian Socialist (and, in my opinion, one of the greatest spiritual philosophers of all time).

Please read it and tell me what you think! (I mean not only David, but everyone here).

P.S. Sad most people here don't speak Russian - Berdyaev should be read in original; no translation can recreate the incomparable poetic force of his original Russian writings. Yet, in the case that someone does speak Russian, the original of the aforementioned Berdyaev's article can be read here.

P.P.S. There is a mistake in the translation - "militant-leftist courts" in the beginning of text should be read as "military courts".
Thanks for that - I have skimmed it (in English) and though it is rather dense, I think it applies rather well to out time. I will give one particularly egregious example. In 2015, Professor Tim Hunt - a Nobel prizewinner in biochemistry - attended a conference, where he said
It's strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists. Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry. Perhaps we should make separate labs for boys and girls? Now, seriously, I'm impressed by the economic development of Korea. And women scientists played, without doubt an important role in it. Science needs women, and you should do science, despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me.
His remarks were rather gauche, but they were said in humorous style, and unquestionably describe a real problem in many walks of life.

This 'sin' was reported at the top of the BBC news, and shortly afterwards he was forced to resign from his post at University College London!

I think both the BBC and UCL behaved abominably. You can read the full details here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Hunt

This is where political correctness can lead.

David
 
#84
it was Nikita Khrushchev, not Mikhail Gorbachev, who gave Crimea away to Ukraine
Sorry that was a goof - I meant Khrushchev!
So, Russia has no more right to claim Crimea for itself then Ukraine has. In fact, Ukraine was the only owner of the peninsula that did not invaded it and taken it by force, but accepted it as a gift from Russia - the gift that taken away by force when Ukraine was weakened by an internal violent conflict.
Well I think on that basis, no part of a country can be said to belong to any other. Scotland doesn't belong to Britain, Northern Ireland certainly doesn't etc. The problem is that this concept of belonging is used as the basis for wars. I'd certainly say that since Russia gave Crimea the choice in a referendum, that choice should be respected - just as the people of Scotland chose to remain part of Britain - if they had chosen otherwise, they would be independent now.

David
 
#86
If no-one in the church had become angry on the children’s behalf the situation would still be the same. Congregations in Catholic Churches have little influence on the hierarchy and I think too much forgiveness and moving priests around went on there.

My friends are good and charitable people, they have lived their lives around their faith and the church but that is all breaking down now. If their anger is an impetus for change so be it but the only people who can forgive in this situation are the children who are probably messed up for life. It isn’t only the abuse that matters it’s the trust that is lost in other areas of faith as well.
Hi Maggie

There's no "probably" about being messed up for life as the result of sexual abuse as a child. It is definite and for sure. Please know that. It puts a spin on your life nobody else can get - unless you have been through something similar.

There is a growing movement of 'Spiritual But Not Religious' (SBNR) that includes many people who have abandoned religious faiths that have become corporations and prize their own perpetuation over the lives and spiritual well-being of those who invested their faith in them. While members of a Church exhibit the compassion and care loving people display, the organisation pays lip service to those principles while obeying more fundamental and ruthless imperatives that are obedient to organisational imperatives.

I do not believe the Catholic Church has the capacity for real reform because that would undo what it has become. It will continue to offer superficial changes to keep its customer base. You do not unravel centuries of abusive and exploitative culture to create a new manifestation. That's a nice ideal, but it is completely unrealistic. Better abandon what is and create something new.

You will, be aware that Australia has spent several years examining sexual abuse in institutions, mostly religious. The Catholic Church has not been willing to fess up to its role in protecting child raping priests, despite compelling evidence against it. It is quite prepared to devalue victims of abuse so it can retain its wealth and influence. It does think it can ride out the allegations and survive with its culture and structure in tact. It relies on those who will, not leave it. And that's a pragmatic decision that allows the least amount of change - not a compassionate one that drives the most amount of change,
 
#89
Do you think anything ought to be allowed on the internet Michael?
Its not what we allow so much as what we understand and assimilate to ourselves. I am frankly not a fan of 'free' speech that is merely means a right to vent overly emotive, ill-informed and offensive remarks. For me all rights come with a corresponding duty, and in relation to speech that duty is silence when respect and self-restraint is absent. That's clear, for example, with this forum.

What has happened with the PC madness that has been plaguing many of our academic institutions is seems to be an almost predatory uber sensitivity to the merest hint of offence, regardless of whether it was intended. The result is fear of speaking openly and fear of backing those who have been 'mobbed' for saying something that can become a target of what I consider to be ludicrous levels of sensitivity.

I cannot see that a 'right' to mob can be upheld as okay while a right to articulate a contrary opinion is not considered okay. Forcing the resignation of academics for 'offences' that are, by any rational measure, mild strikes me as a kind of madness.

I don't like the idea of PC. Its has its origins in Stalinism and is intended as a weapon against free speech.For me it has no place in our cultures, and certainly no place in universities.

Notwithstanding my personal preferences concerning 'free' speech, I would, had I the power, ban pornography from the internet. Sex is not a spectator sport and I find the idea that it is 'adult' entertainment profoundly degrading to the idea of what an adult is.
 
#90
Notwithstanding my personal preferences concerning 'free' speech, I would, had I the power, ban pornography from the internet. Sex is not a spectator sport and I find the idea that it is 'adult' entertainment profoundly degrading to the idea of what an adult is.
I think that’s a problem, everyone has something(s) they’d like to ban. In your case, it’s porn, in mine it’s violence, in others it’s...fill in the gap! That is why I now think that there must be somewhere where anything can be stated; ie a free for all.

Otherwise the internet will become overcontrolled by who knows who. Truth is definitely being withheld at present, and it’s getting worse. To deny a voice to people we don’t like or fear or hate is to deny a picture of our true consciousness.
Surely it’s better to see the truth, warts and all, than to allow things to be picked off one by one by who knows who.

The internet is not what it once was, but should be returned somehow imo.
Is it even possible? I don’t know, but I do know that it’s not looking good keeping things from people. I might be wrong, or misguided, but it’s how I presently see things. I think it should definitely be discussed. I too, disagree or don’t like seeing a lot of what is on the internet, given a choice, I would not go there, but I fear that allowing things we are offended or disgusted by be banned is a slippery slope.
 
#91
in our interview, Alex asked, "Where is God in all of this?" There are two aspects to God, the personal and the impersonal. The impersonal permea


Encountering Buddha is a bit beyond me, Alex...

but, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to reminisce about Maharishi's life in the hope that the extraordinarily demanding routine he kept for 50+ years might result in a more sympathetic understanding of the man.

Maharishi spent 20 hours a day, every day, lecturing on topics ranging from Quantum Physics to human DNA to Rig Veda (always without notes) in addition to overseeing TM activities in some 50 countries while hosting ambassadors, Nobel Laureates, military commanders, industrialists, and even heads of state.

I was with Maharishi a fair amount over three decades in India, Switzerland, France, Holland, Germany, Philippines, and USA. In the 90's, Maharishi organized our corporate India project. My project partner and I often met with Maharishi around midnight and by 3:00 am one of the secretaries would suggest that it was time to retire. As we stumbled off to bed another group took our seats in Maharishi's suite.

Meetings went on around the clock seven days a week 51 weeks out of the year (Maharishi began the new year with a week of silence). Meetings typically adjourned as the sun came up, but not always because somewhere in the world someone wanted to speak to Maharishi about a prison project, an upcoming media interview, a proposed school or hospital, or a research paper about to be published. Maharishi loved celebrations, and regardless who was with him, he took time to celebrate everyone's birthday. Despite the grueling schedule, Maharishi was always gracious, energetic, in good humor, and effortlessly able to inspire his guests, whether in a talk or with a welcoming smile. His laughter infected everyone in his presence.

I remember Maharishi's conversation in Switzerland with Welsh physicist, Dr. Brian Josephson. The discussion was animated, often playful as Maharishi explained the parallels between consciousness and theoretical physics to the Nobel Laureate. On Thanksgiving, 1983, Deepak Chopra met Maharishi for the first time. Chopra was Chief of Staff at a large Boston hospital at the time. Over the course of the evening, Maharishi persuaded Chopra to join the TM movement. Chopra's assignment: make Ayur Veda a household name in America.

Maharishi visited Communist Europe many times where he organized meditation programs for government officials in several eastern block nations. One memory stands out from that era. In a monastery on the Rhein River near Bonn, our group of monks was settling into morning meditation when Maharishi sent word for the Americans to come to the hall. Earlier, a secretary had read him an article in the International Herald Tribune describing the dismissal of a couple hundred Romanian government officials who were doing TM. Maharishi was furious and wanted to know why the CIA was meddling with his peace programs. I have never seen or felt fury like that. For 40 minutes we were, as if, consumed by flames. But nothing deterred Maharishi. He launched dozens more initiatives in eastern Europe, including some in Siberia (I was spared that assignment).

In 1982, I recall Maharishi instructing his graphics people to create a huge map of a unified Germany. After the map was taped to the wall of the monastery chapel, Maharishi pointed to it and said 'one day this will be the reality.' I never saw Maharishi happier than the day the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. It was also a day of personal celebration for me as I had toured East Berlin in the summer of 1979 as guest of some publishers. Check Point Charlie, the endless rows of Plattenbauten (drab government block housing), rusting gray Trabants (Soviet manufactured cars), barren bakeries and shops, and German children who wanted to touch my thick down jacket left enduring impressions.

During the Sino-Indian border conflict of 1962, Maharishi spent several weeks in the war zone high in the Himalayas. Upon returning to Delhi, his driver reported that Maharishi had ridden a mule along the border day after day while meditating through the night in an effort to avert all out war.

Maharishi patiently answered questions. When asked about UFO's, he replied: "They're the truck drivers of the universe... don't get on the cigar shaped ones." Once he asked his monks if they would like to become 'galactic ambassadors.'

Maharishi didn't seem to sleep; nor did he meditate much. He simply worked round the clock year after year with a superhuman stamina that stayed with him past age 90. What he did in his private moments was known only to his personal secretaries. Apparently, his legendary stamina was even greater than we realized.

Maharishi wasn't perfect, but he lived his life for others and was dedicated to helping humanity during some difficult times. He absolutely forbade anyone from 'worshiping' him. When a group of Americans performed a puja ceremony in his honor when he arrived at our Interlaken hotel, his response was: "I hated that." In 2008, as thousands watched flames consume Maharishi's mortal remains on the banks of the Ganges, those present felt orphaned. It was an honor to have known the "giggling saint" who had come to the west from the Himalayas.
thank you for sharing this. it helps me understand where yr coming from. and I also get that none us us would like to be judged by solely by our faults/weaknesses. the picture yr painting is of a very great spiritual man... not more than a man, but great man.

one point to clarify re the "don't want to pull someone from their guru." which value is important to you truth or compassion? this is not a trick question... and there is certainly no right answer.

edit... I think this is a treat how like to be treated thing... I want to know... I want yr truth first, then yr compassion.
 
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#92
You do not unravel centuries of abusive and exploitative culture to create a new manifestation. That's a nice ideal, but it is completely unrealistic.
harsh, but true. they have no shame... should be sued into non-existence... tax haven status removed. fairness. have you ever heard of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen?
 
#93
There is a long and ludicrous litany of academics being forced to resign for gently 'silly' remarks. I commend The Coddling of the American Mind to anybody keen to wrap their minds around this hideous lunacy.
this is a new interest area of mine... anyone out there interested in helping me put together a show on the parallels between the academic libtard conspiracy and the biological robot science conspiracy?
 
#94
Notwithstanding my personal preferences concerning 'free' speech, I would, had I the power, ban pornography from the internet. Sex is not a spectator sport and I find the idea that it is 'adult' entertainment profoundly degrading to the idea of what an adult is
While I broadly agree with your sentiment, the real problem is how you draw the line. There are people who would like to return to a world where sexual matters were not discussed at all, and young people discovered about sex on their wedding night.

I don't know what the answer is, but I fear the internet is becoming less and less free by the day. Censorship has a horrible habit of spreading.

David
 
#97
which value is important to you truth or compassion? this is not a trick question... and there is certainly no right answer.

edit... I think this is a treat how like to be treated thing... I want to know... I want yr truth first, then yr compassion.[/QUOTE]

You've hit on some scar tissue, Alex. The issue of truth (honesty) has taken a toll on me over the years.

TRUTH: My first wake up call regarding 'truth' came at 14. I was playing the finals of a big Midwest tennis tournament. The umpire for the match was the tennis coach at a major university. At a crucial juncture in the match, I hit a ball that went through a small tear in the net which meant it was my opponent's point. I informed the umpire who proceeded to berate me for 'interrupting play.' The umpire has full authority in such situations, but I felt obligated to bring it to his attention. The umpire's stern rebuke got the best of me (he seemed to have it in for me after that) and I ended up losing the match. Losing was sad enough but my coach laid into me for my poor judgment and on the drive home my dad reminded me that it had cost me the tournament as well as the #1 ranking in a seven state region...

Fast forward fifteen years and I'm leaving Holland for Delhi on a TM project. I get a call from one of the secretaries who wants me to carry a very large sum of Deutschmarks through Indian customs. What to do? There were customs questions to answer and documents to fill out before entry. Proving to be an able courier, more 'smuggling' of funds followed...

When I discovered what I believed to be misappropriation of funds within the Indian TM movement, I blew the whistle, but was ignored; not by Maharishi, but by his lieutenants. After a second discovery, I was determined to blow the whistle even louder because I had learned of some serious stuff, but a close friend said, "if you do this, it will be like grabbing hold of an electric fence, so what's the point?"

So, I've been compromised. That said, TRUTH is one of the pillars around which we should build our lives, especially if we wish to lead spiritual lives.

COMPASSION: In one of the Indian management institutes I was overseeing, a student was failing, but his professors insisted on passing him despite his low marks. I spoke with the professors, informing them that they worked for an American institute and that they needed to meet American accreditation standards. The professors told me that they were planning to pass the fellow anyway because for him to fail would have disastrous consequences for the boy... the chance of a good marriage or decent job were in jeopardy. The boy's mother came to us in tears to plead her son's case, going so far as to suggest that her son might take his life, and so the professors passed him. In the end, two of the professors resigned from the institute a couple months later. Apparently, my hard-line mentality was too much for them. Compassion for the boy meant more to them than truth. Ultimately, the boy graduated, but we'll never know whether his 'free pass' helped or hindered his life. I suspect the latter...

In our Skeptiko interview we talked about reality being flexible. How flexible is reality when it comes to truth? Societies have standards but they're not uniform globally or from person to person.
 
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#98
Hi Michael
I have always seen the Catholic Church as working on two levels, the hierachy at the top and the local church which worships, prays and cares for people. I think a lot of theology is distorted and harmful but there is also something beautiful about people who really live out their faith.

In the seventies when the Charismatic Movement and liberation theology was at its height there was a positive energy in the Catholic Church, I met priests who were willingly going to very dangerous places in the world and and there was hope of married priests quite soon. In my village joint services and bible study groups with other Christians were held, I think that was the brief window of opportunity for change but then Pope John Paul 11 was appointed, a conservative whose influence was felt at every level. It isn’t just child abuse that has been the problem there have been women abandoned and left with children who will never know their father because the priest was promptly moved.

You are right about people becoming spiritual rather than religious (although it’s possible to be both). However, in my country I don’t really see spiritual groups getting together en masse to help the homeless, run food banks and credit unions etc etc that will take time, I think the government would have a problem without the charitable work that all the churches do. We do have The Sunday assembly but as far as I know although they want all the good bits about church without God they seem to have thrown out the transcendent. Actually, most churches sit on the fence as far as mystical and near death experiences are concerned, they are only safe if the person who had them is dead.
 
#99
this is a new interest area of mine... anyone out there interested in helping me put together a show on the parallels between the academic libtard conspiracy and the biological robot science conspiracy?
Not entirely sure I'd agree with the term conspiracy, but do I understand you correctly to be saying that you are looking for some kind of relationship between:

1. The PC/snowflake/safe spaces/failure to educate in the value of free thought and speech/intolerant leftism/intersectionality/progressivism/moral relativism/etc.) complex

and

2. the materialist agenda that seeks to characterise the universe as meaningless/without purpose/obeying only blind "natural law", and that usually not merely tends to ignore anything opposed to its view, but often actively opposes it?

If so, both involve intolerance for large sections of the population (probably the majority) and both lead to societal division. Both rely on the consensus opinion of, largely, academics, who often seem to have a hard time differentiating shit from Shinola. Both have the backing of large sections of media and government. Both are based on the acceptance of reality as promulgated by authority rather than as generated by individual thought and reflection.

Both, perhaps contrary to appearance, have a profoundly conservative dimension. Contemporary science, by digging its heels in, maintains the status quo and prevents the exploration of "unacceptable" ideas by seeking to throttle them before they can gain any credence, all the while exploring all manner of nebulous ideas so long as it consensually approves of them. The "libtard" complex, whilst appearing to favour progressive and enlightened behaviour, is seeking to generate and conserve a limited range of thought.

Both are, wittingly or unwittingly (I myself tend to reject conspiracy in favour of cockup/stupidity), forming religions informed by doctrine rather than logic and/or commonsense. Both are, I opine, bound to fail because most of us, informed by history, are aware of the pernicious aspects of religion. Both are current fashions, and like all fashions, of limited life-span. Both have yet to face the full force of the backlash of the probable majority of sensible folk, though there are signs that said backlash has already begun. All I can hope is that it is a bloodless revolution, but fear it might not be.

Incidentally, libtards quite often back contemporary scientific notions even though most of them probably don't understand even the basics. Most notably, they tend to believe in CAGW, probably because it is the product of profound pessimism, and they are profoundly pessimistic types.
 
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In our Skeptiko interview we talked about reality being flexible. How flexible is reality when it comes to truth? Societies have standards but they're not uniform globally or from person to person
I had hoped that you were referring to a much deeper sense that reality might be flexible - that the mind could morph reality directly.

David
 
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