Collective replies to questions raised on The Way Facebook pages -19.5.11
The main point of life to consider is,
Perchance, the lack of one.
Sharon Lassiter originally posted, on Monday, 16th May 2011, at 16:07: So…the point of life is to consider that you might not have had one? One would think it goes a little further than that…….
In reply to the first part of your post – yes, more or less. It simply says, “The main point of life to consider is, perchance, the lack of one.” It offers, solely as a point for consideration, that we might in fact not have put a point, an important or fundamental reason, aim, a purpose, in our lives. That, therefore is the main point. If we don’t first take time to think about it, and actually consider whether it actually might or might not have a point, a purpose, rather than automatically presuming that it does or doesn’t, then we shouldn’t be surprised to find that we may have neglected to put a point there. We each choose to put a point into our lives, or we choose to make it pointless, by ignoring the fact that we didn’t do justice to our very existence, by actually considering it in the first place.
We might consider that we don’t go looking for what we already have. Would you not agree that the reason we question and then consider something, is to advance our thinking from its current position, and onwards to a more profitable one? Then again, different minds see profit in different things, don’t they?
Consideration is simply the application of careful thought, so as to untangle our thinking into some sort of coherent process, to work out the fact from the fiction, the known from the not-known, the things of value from the vague and futile. Is this not reason? Is this not logical? Is this not truth? Is this not known fact (knowledge)? Is this not the way to work things out? Maybe you don’t agree, and that’s fine too, as you decide for you. What do you actually think? As you say, why not take it a little further?
People can often be heard asking “What’s the point of life?”, as though something called “LIFE” owes them something. It doesn’t owe them anything, as it is simply a loan that must be paid back, with or without profit, as all things return to their root. Some might consider that they owe it to themselves and to the all the things that support all life, to at least consider their actual position, and then take appropriate action to adjust or correct their course. Don’t you think that to do otherwise will ensure that you become lost to your purpose, your actual point for existing? What do you think?
Sharon Lasitter I feel that there is a whole lot more to be said. What’s to be proved? What is The Way, exactly, and what Truth behind it can you prove? It seems like you talk a lot about Truth, Logic, and Reason, yet you anticipate followers’ faith that your “Truth” is *the* Truth. Just like every other organization. What makes yours more ultimately provable?
You talk of contradictions in religion, yet you contradict yourself perpetually. This is from your own website text: “The spirit of man cannot be found, no matter how hard you look for it. You can open up the human skull and dissect the brain, and you will neither find a picture or a single thought. These things are not evident to the eye, yet we know that they are there, because we all experience them every day.” Yet when I asked you about the spirit, you say you only teach what can be proved to exist. Yet you yourself cannot prove the spirit exists any more than christains can prove that God exists, other than the personal claim that you “experience” it. Pffffft. You are full of malarkey. 😛
I’ll take your posts point by point, if you get my point. Firstly, you said, “I feel that there is a whole lot more to be said”, but you haven’t said what it is. Why not? Why give the impression that you know something and not actually clearly state your thoughts? Perhaps you are saying that you evaluate things on the basis of what you feel, rather than what you know? Do you know that there is a world of a difference? The Way, as a mode of living and understanding, is to operate on the four principles you mention above, and that’s all, nothing more an noting less.
Would you not consider that it is true to say that it is better to live by those principles, rather than what is opposed to them, which is blind reliance on notions and fantasy? If you disagree, then why not simply and considerately explain why, rather than by throwing insults that serve to add no point to the discussion? Is your motive to make yourself feel better and make someone else appear foolish? You choose to think and act the way you do, and you chose to visit this site, so if you object to our thinking why not go and pursue something that is more suited to your way of thinking? As far as I am aware, no one here insulted you, and if they did please let us know.
On the second point, on the matter of truth, you use the word ‘faith’, which has different meanings, depending on context. Like most things, there is often more than one meaning to a word, as you probably know. Faith, in its widest and most common meaning means ‘trust, placing of reliance in or on something’, and it may or may or may not be based on actual reliability, and may be just a notion or feeling. LINK
Religions preach that you should place blind belief in what you don’t know and is not evidenced in known fact (knowledge), as in the Adam and Eve story about the fruit of the tree of knowledge i.e. knowledge is bad. We simply say that it is much more trustworthy to place reliance or trust in what is based on truth (conformity with fact or reality), knowledge (known fact), logic (scientific reasoning) and reason (the ability to work things out from known fact coupled with argument for an against something). Is that really so mad? If so, why do you think so?
On the matter of ‘spirit’. To find something is to locate it, and you can’t locate spirit, no more than you can locate wind in any given place. We can’t catch it and bottle it like some form of liquid or gas, can we? We can, however, perceive it, by observing its actions, what it does and how it causes things.
All things that exist arise from causes, so therefore the force we call spirit exists because it has an effect. The fact that you typed the above posts is proof that you exist, and that the living and animating force within you caused that to happen, so therefore ‘spirit’ can be proven to exist, and is not simply conjured up as an idea. Is this not fact? Is this not reason? Is this not logical? Is this not truthful? If not, why not?
The simple reason that Christians, or any such system, can’t prove that ‘God’ exists is due to the complete lack of evidence. If there was evidence it would lead to establishing it as fact, and as there is no factual evidence then it cannot be proven. You can place faith or reliance in the idea that it exists, but that’s all you can do, just like Santa Claus. If reality doesn’t underpin the idea, then it will fail to live up to its imagined promise, just as the imagined unrealities of our banking and political systems are doing right now. You reap what you sow.
Sharon Lassiter posted:
,Ž“All things that exist arise from causes, so therefore the force we call spirit exists because it has an effect.”
Yes, I completely agree with this, Bob. Yet…most people who believe in God/Source Energy/The Great Spirit believe in him/it because all things exist; and they exist because of a spirit which has caused them to be. In this sense, that the earth and the universe itself exists because God effectually created it.
Reply: My name is not Bob, but that doesn’t really matter anyway. We sometimes post some of Bob Crosbie’s material that we have in our member archives, just as food for thought, as some people like it and have asked for it to be published, that’s all. Most of what we post is collective Way sayings from various sources, and we don’t ‘claim’ to own it, unless it is marked as our copyright, as it’s free to anyone to use it to maybe help them think about things. If it is reasoned and stands up to making sense, we are happy to post it. Where we post material belonging to someone else, then we attribute that recognition, as per our website copyright policy
Anything that makes people question is good, as at least they are thinking. Sometimes we get messages that seem to be inexplicably hostile, even if our website clearly states the terms and conditions in regard to visitors, so it’s their choice, so if they don’t want to add anything constructive or engage in mutually respective dialogue, then they should refrain from contacting us, which we would regard as being a reasonable thing to expect. Becoming or feeling offended is a choice, and we choose not to engage with those who can’t control their thinking sufficiently to be polite, as anything else is time-wasting and futile, as life is all too short and we are here to learn and improve.
As regards the issue of God/Spirit etc., yes, you are right, they do believe in it because it sounds almost convincing because of the way the information is presented, in the context of taught and rote acceptance without questioning that obvious contradictions that such a ‘faith’ requires and in fact insists upon, regardless.
We should not confuse religion and spirituality here, as spirituality is the awareness and study of that which is spirit, which is evident and provable, as as opposed to blind acceptance of what it is merely alleged to be according to dogma and lack of study. Belief systems tend to promote and teach the avoidance of reality in whatever form it may be, whereas the inquiring spirit is diligent in questioning and doubting what is merely alleged in the absence of fact.
The clever way that we are encouraged into accepting that belief is fact, renders us unable and unwilling to override the influence of the drip-drip effect of ideas that are often planted in our minds when very young. As the young mind does not know any differently, the seed of those infantile ideas may still express itself as an automatic response even in later life, that colours our perception to want to accept that what we think is always true and valid, though this may conflict with objective reality. Then again, if you don’t know and are not taught about objective reality, then how can you know otherwise?
When our pre-set ideas are even apparently challenged, we can become aggressive, anxious, fearful, or depressed, though we don’t exactly know why because the reaction is instilled into the subconscious mind, which has no reasoning ability, though it makes up a large amount of your overall thinking. We are not taught this in our educational systems, so we end up reacting to our previous reactions to other individuals’ seeming ‘attack’ on what we hold to be true, with inevitable negative outcomes, and around we go, in ever-decreasing circles, thinking and believing that we know our own minds. Our egos will tend to keep us thinking that way, unless we choose to know otherwise. So, you might well ask, how do you do that? It’s a question that many ask themselves, and we might consider it along the following lines.
If something does genuinely exist, then it can be known, and you of course know that already, but we only actually understand it properly if we apply the right thinking to the thing we are examining. So you don’t need to believe it exists if there is evidence, as belief can only exist in the absence of information. The more you know the less you blindly accept or think, and the more you believe the more gullible you end up being. This is a confusing idea for many of us, as we are usually taught to regard belief and fact to be synonymous.
Let’s take an example. Have you ever heard yourself or someone else saying, “If I only knew then what I know now”, when you look back at misjudgements about something, especially something that you later realised was stupid or costly?
Now, if you take that memory and think a little more about it, have you ever heard yourself saying, “If I only believed then what I know now” or “If I only believed then what I believe now”? If not, why not? It doesn’t sound right, does it? If the words are synonymous, then why do we differentiate the meanings between what was merely believed (the idea that caused the problem i.e. not knowing what could have made a positive difference) and the realisation of what we later found out that made things clear i.e. the actual facts? Surely it was belief that caused the situation that caused the loss, but understanding of the facts that taught you the lesson? Belief (opinion or conviction according to the self only) gets you into negative situations, and only knowing better (having or gaining knowledge) can get you out of it. Maybe you don’t see it this way?
Now, maybe at some point you may have also wondered why belief is considered to be ‘blind’? Why? If we know that blindness is a disability, although in this case a mental or psychological one, why accept that we could possibly benefit from (to be blessed by) having our ability to question and understand being switched off or impaired? Who does that profit, do you wonder? You? Who is selling us what? And why, if we already know that factual truths are the true nature of what is real and extant?
We appreciate that it can be hard to chew through this, never mind digest it, but those who are naturally disposed to follow the path of reason choose to do so in the way they look at things. Granted, it’s not easy at times, but that’s an individual choice some choose to make. It’s not some idea of being superior or anything, but if you are wired in that way then the alternatives are not attractive anyway.
It’s an obvious fact that people become afraid of the loss of what belief promises them, even if the ideas are ultimately unfounded, as people see their personal ideas as being part of their identity, even if many of them are learned reactions, and automatic self-preservation kicks in and fear overrides any attempt to reason a way out of the situation. Have you had experience of this? Now, if you look at what is going on in the world, can you see where this is taking us? Or maybe you don’t agree, and that’s fine too…..as maybe we are just a bunch of nutters; though if we are we don’t know it yet. If we are, then time will tell its own story, as the truth of the matter always prevails.
Sharon Lassiter posted in response to an item in the previous section: “The fact that you typed the above posts is proof that you exist, and that the living and animating force within you caused that to happen, so therefore ‘spirit’ can be proven to exist, and is not simply conjured up as an idea. Is this not fact? Is this not reason? Is this not logical? Is this not truthful? If not, why not?”
Sure…absolutely true. And those who believe in God feel that the very fact that we are here and the planet is here and all of it’s inhabitants exist because God, a spirit which is bigger than we are, and that we are in fact a part of, has created it…has caused it to ‘be’.
Reply: Yes, and I agree with you 100% on this statement, but the point, as far as we would tend to see it, is that they may feel all sorts of things about such an opinion, but they don’t know this to be a fact, as this thing they regard as being a deity leads into all sorts of mental imagery and suppositions that can never be proven, and they are led to draw inferences from often very contradictory ideas about how this force acts. They can begin to feel insecure when someone seems to be questioning their unsure ideas, and they start to fight about their various opinions, and cause more harm, not less, which is not the way to do things.
The way we would tend to see it, is that basing your thinking on emotional reaction is not a good way to form judgements, and learning truths means that you have to suspend your emotional feelings, as they will colour your judgement, and therefore your thinking process, and inevitably your actions, which in turn have consequences. You are responsible – period.
Billy Ray Lovejoy posted: i love logic and reason and the scientific method all my heroes were scientists so i just want to know one thing about the way the cual what is it why is it so important to you and what if anything dose it have to do with logic reasoning or truth?
Monday at 23:32
Sharon Lassiter posted in response to Billy Ray Lovejoy:
@ Billy – Yes, logic and reason are good…except for the fact that there are lots of people who invent their own logic and reasoning for doing horrific things – murder, theft, hatred of gays or anyone who is different from themselves…that’s why logic is flawed.
Reply: The answer is right there when you rightly said, ‘they invent their own logic and reasoning’. Flawed or faulted logic is called illogic, not logic, and using reasoning for negative purposes is called unreason, not reason. Just as in the use of the words belief and knowledge as being the same and singular thing, when logic is incorrectly attributed to both the proper and improper use of that faculty then the wrong mental image is formed. Would you not agree that what we see when we see the more negative behaviours of the species called man, is not logic and reason, but the complete flip side, illogic and unreason? Have you not wondered about this?
Belief systems, be they religious or political (and both are often close cousins as they involve the mindset of people) subtly blend in emotional associations with contradictory word meanings, like hope, faith, trust, feelings, believe, know, and so on, but we often don’t question what those words mean, and therefore unconsciously accept them as being credible and trusted, even if they turn out to be based on false ideas. Have you ever counted in one day how many times the word believe or belief is used on TV or by yourself and people around you, and how few times you hear about reason or logic? Interesting, isn’t it? It’s interesting to notice what is being said, and also to what is not being said ,“ two sides of the same coin, one which is apparent, and one which is out of sight yet still exists.
Sharon Lassiter continued: The scientist who invented the split atom is now terribly regretful of what he did. You know why? Because he left out what his heart and gut must have been screaming out at him. That this would lead to horror and death. That nothing good would come of it. It is science and logic that has led to the destructive state mankind is now buried in. What we need is more human feeling — for one another.
Reply: I’m not sure where Ernest Rutherford is supposed to have said this, as he died in 1937 and the first atomic bomb test was only carried out in 1945. Up until then it was all theoretical, but even if he did work on the original methodology of splitting the atom, what others chose to do with it was not any more his fault than that of a man who built a road and someone else choosing to drive on it with their eyes shut. It not fully accurate to say that nothing good comes from the use of nuclear physics, as such knowledge saves millions of lives each year, through x-rays and CT scanning, amongst many other applications.
We tend to look at the two sides of a thing, just like you would when crossing a street, and we know that good ideas can be used for negative purposes. Horror and death, as we would see it, come from minds that work in that direction, so it their choice to know of better or not. Belief allows the adjustment of perception of reality to suit our excuses and less human traits, as justification for not doing better, while knowing and reasoning take effort and consideration before acting, but the again some might think that as being abnormal.
As regards the world needing more human feeling, I’m not quite sure what you personally mean by that, but would be more than happy to know your point of view. Humans have many feelings, but again we tend to look at both sides of the meaning of such words.
As we would see it, the world is going mad on a tide of feeling and emotion, and certainly not reason, and history shows us where this inevitably leads, so why continue to think that way? Some choose to, and some choose not to, and either way we reap what we sow, both individually and collectively, so there is no point blaming a deity or a spirit who supposedly made you with uncorrectable faults, as you make the decisions.
We know that there is no sky-god, no bearded father-figure in the clouds, as we’ve gone into space, and we do know that there is a huge Universe out there where life should be propagated, but we end up fighting and nit-picking like chimps at a peanut festival, jumping up and down and trying to grasp and grab at everything. Why? Can we do no better?