Alex Tsakiris, Four Questions About the Future of Skeptiko |414|

God having finite power fits in to the luciferian gnostic philosophy, in that the God in this reality is actually a demiurge that is pretending to be God and lucifer was sent (Michael beihn) terminator to help humanity. According to luciferian gnostic there is the great unknowable God, the fake God of the Bible and lucifer the agent of the great unknowable God to wake up us (neo, matrix)
Interesting that you mention the name "Michael" in connection with Lucifer (Archangel Michael comes to mind....).

In any case, the idea of Lucifer has now become associated with attitudes and practices that are very much in line with those of the demiurge (more specifically, the aspiration to "be like God", exactly like the demiurge, who wanted to be like "the real God", but was only able to create a very imperfect material world, so he failed miserably), hence it is not a useful metaphor/myth anymore, as it gets associated with making this world even more cruel and horrible, rather than with righteous rebellion against the demiurge's arrogance and wickedness. The only true rebellion lies in trying to make this world a less horrible place (regardless of the concrete possibility of succeeding in any permanent or significant way....)

Of course I'm only talking symbols and archetypes here! I don't take any of this literally, obviously. These are "stories" that help us to make sense of things, but the map is not the territory.

I agree that equating the word Lucifer to Satan is a distortion (the word Lucifer did not mean this - it's a name for Venus, the morning star) but at present Lucifer evokes Satan, the Devil etc. which are most definitely not archetypes and concepts that are useful to anybody.

wikipedia: " "Lucifer has become a byword for Satan or the Devil in the church and in popular literature",[3] as in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Joost van den Vondel's Lucifer, and John Milton's Paradise Lost.[53] However, unlike the English word, the Latin word was not used exclusively in this way and was applied to others also, including Jesus: the Latin (Vulgate) text of Revelation 22:16 (where English translations refer to Jesus as "the bright morning star") has stella matutina, not lucifer, but the term lucifer is applied to Jesus in the Easter Exultet and in a hymn by Hilary of Poitiers that contains the phrase: "Tu verus mundi lucifer" (You are the true light bringer of the world).[80]"
 
There might be some evidence that pain might be at least partially planned/chosen, but not necessarily by God or a higher being. This is talked about in NDE circles and comes up during some “pre-birth memory” narratives, which often involves people claiming that they remember choosing certain parameters of this life based upon certain challenges and the opportunities for learning contained therein. This PBM phenomenon is not well documented but it is a growing area and based upon my interaction with people who seem credible I think there’s probably something to it. It’s also (similarly) reported during supposed life between life memories, probably most notably through Michael Newton’s work.

Interestingly, Tom Campbell has stated that he believes that spiritual plans or predictions are based upon flow charts and probabilities and that spiritual plans or predictions may therefore happen or not happen depending upon static or dynamic circumstances. He believes that this is due to variances in free will mostly along other variables. Though he wasn’t speaking about anything regarding pain or suffering when he said this.

Now this (even if true) doesn’t necessarily mean that pain is good and or EVEN chosen purposely (either by another higher up being or the individual themself). It may be that everything and/or anything BUT pain is chosen but that pain happens as an unfortunate side effect to our existence. I do remember some stories where people report that they accepted certain challenges, even if they now don’t know why.

Irregardless, this idea of life planning does pop up a ton amongst all these different circles.

Here’s a link to 60 some PBM’s recorded on oberf.org. I think I’ll read through some of them later.

https://www.oberf.org/prebirth.htm
I was thinking of mentioning some of those points, but my impression is that the evidence here is rather patchy.

Science seems to get an idea, test it for a while, and then harden itself against alternatives to the point of dismissing evidence that suggests that a mistake has been made. I think Science finds it very hard to delineate things that might be true but might be false. This makes it very hard to evaluate contradictory evidence except by tossing out some experts and calling them 'anti-science'. This isn't inherent to science, but is the result of people wanting to own ideas and then defend them for the sake of their egos.

We need to embrace the areas of doubt - such as the exact nature of God (or indeed whether he exists in the singular), we absolutely must not ape science!

David
 
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Well there doesn't seem to be any evidence the other way. For example, there was a study of hellish NDE's and these didn't seem correlated with the kind of person who encountered them. Now, of course, you can go on to say that maybe they were bad people in some concealed way, but I really do believe in following the data. If there isn't good evidence for X, don't try to twist the evidence to say otherwise (or indeed ignore the evidence). It is difficult, and one may have to make exceptions, but way too much of that sort of nonsense goes on in science.
No matter what we we spin our interpretations, we need to look at chaos and complexity theories to appreciate that so often behind apparent randomness and seeming disorder there is actually deep order. We don't know 'the mind of God', and we can't interpret, in any safe way, human reality based on our observation of it. At best we can discern 'moral themes' and I suggest that ideas like karma and Maat are better indicators of how things might actually be.

There's that old maxim - absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I think it is important that we try to nut through these 'imponderables', but our guiding principle must always be that the truth is slightly beyond our grasp. We struggle to render complex ideas rational - as an ongoing creative endeavour - as opposed to cementing dogmas.
 
God having finite power fits in to the luciferian gnostic philosophy, in that the God in this reality is actually a demiurge that is pretending to be God and lucifer was sent (Michael beihn) terminator to help humanity. According to luciferian gnostic there is the great unknowable God, the fake God of the Bible and lucifer the agent of the great unknowable God to wake up us (neo, matrix)
Okay. Can we please be clear that Lucifer is a fiction? Just because there was a rant in Isaiah that carried on about Venus (the Lightbringer = Lucifer) supposedly challenging God does not mean that it is more than a rant. At certain times Venus rises on the eastern horizon just before dawn - hence the 'Lightbringer' - or more likely the light herald. Its a metaphor that was wrongly applied to an earthly ruler who was reckoned to seek to eclipse God. So Isaiah was trying to use Venus as an image of human pride (of a person who claimed glory in contrast against the divine) - and that's dumb, really. The stupidity of the metaphor lies in the name - Lucifer - the 'bringer' of light, the herald of the Sun.

The author of Isaiah may have been making a valid point about human, power, pride and glory - but picking Venus as the image displayed an ignorance of, or a cultural bias against, 'pagan' astrological traditions.

So let's try to make sense:
According to luciferian gnostic there is the great unknowable God - Yes (and among all the mystical streams of the Abrahamic tradition).
the fake God of the Bible - Yes. The God of the Bible starts out an expression of a polytheistic tradition and ends up a fiction of a monotheistic tradition. In fact the distinction between polytheism and monotheism is more a matter of language than any sensible conception. More dogma than sense. More politics and theology than any functional value.
lucifer the agent of the great unknowable God to wake up us - Yes if you allow that fictions are often necessary to convey truth.

When we think about Gospels we tend to think about 'literal truth'. That is not what our ancestors were concerned with. A moral or spiritual truth is enduring and so has no fixed form. The reason Shakespeare's works continue to speak to us is not the beautiful language, but the depth of spiritual and psychological insight conveyed in his writings. We know Shakespeare is not a writer of history, and that his works are fiction - and we do not care. The same applies to Tolstoy and Conrad and many other writers of 'fiction'. Here's the point - the truths of the human spirit are not fictional - the settings in which accounts of its expression are described are.

But when it comes to the Bible and all related works we are hypnotised into some mad thought that the works have to be 'literally true'. Lucifer is a relatively modern fiction - and, who knows, maybe we really need him to express the moral complexities we now engage with. But if we treat him like Hamlet or Leer, we are not diminishing his validity. In fact I think we are magnifying it. Lucifer is a fiction we need to explain us to ourselves - let us own it - and him.
 
We need to embrace the areas of doubt - such as the exact nature of God (or indeed whether he exists in the singular), we absolutely must not ape science!
What we now call 'science' was once called 'natural philosophy'. Science is not, and cannot be, the arbiter of the real for any human. What we call 'Science' is a set of disciplines that must sit with philosophy and art as other critical human disciplines. When it comes to 'nature of God' science has no voice - yet. Maybe one day - but not now.

In any case, properly conducted science is full of doubt. Its only sloppy scientists who are not, and, frankly, who gives a toss what they think in the subject in any case.
 
I am not espousing a materialist position here. There is the possibility of strong agnosticism. I wonder how folks feel about not knowing?
There's a substantial body of opinion suggesting that 'not knowing' is the native human condition. That's how we start off- and we live in a culture that exploits that - through propaganda, lies and bullshit.

There are a bunch of models concerning this material reality and the transcendent 'other' reality - Hermetic, Qabalistic, Hindu and others. And there's stuff by Jane Roberts (the Seth books), White (The Unobstructed Universe) and DeMarco (Awakening from the 3D World) - and these are only my favourites - there's a heap of other material.

My point is that 'not knowing' is a fiction. Its not like there's no information. There's a heap of it. Its not like there's any secret about it. Its all over the place.

My problem with Question 3 is that it is asked as if there is no ready answer - like it really is a mystery. No its not.
 
There's a substantial body of opinion suggesting that 'not knowing' is the native human condition. That's how we start off- and we live in a culture that exploits that - through propaganda, lies and bullshit.

There are a bunch of models concerning this material reality and the transcendent 'other' reality - Hermetic, Qabalistic, Hindu and others. And there's stuff by Jane Roberts (the Seth books), White (The Unobstructed Universe) and DeMarco (Awakening from the 3D World) - and these are only my favourites - there's a heap of other material.

My point is that 'not knowing' is a fiction. Its not like there's no information. There's a heap of it. Its not like there's any secret about it. Its all over the place.

My problem with Question 3 is that it is asked as if there is no ready answer - like it really is a mystery. No its not.
Thanks for the reply, Michael.

The very fact that we are vulnerable to "propaganda, lies and bullshit" and the very fact that there are bunch of different "models concerning this material reality and the transcendent 'other' reality" is in line with the point I'm trying to make. As human beings, we will always be vulnerable to different perspectives on the big questions of morality, aesthetics, metaphysics, etc. We can see that being played out over and over again in politics, art criticism/theory, scientific discource, discussions of spirituality/philosophy etc. This vulnerability to different perspectives shows how "delicate" any given theory or perspective is--the best theory on any big question seems to be a house of cards that is reliant on specific commitments and "free miracles" --- come in with a perspective that is built on different commitments or free miracles and a serious challenge will ensue. One can think of theories and perspectives more as practices or techniques than as some absolute representation of ultimate truth.
 
Interesting that you mention the name "Michael" in connection with Lucifer (Archangel Michael comes to mind....).

In any case, the idea of Lucifer has now become associated with attitudes and practices that are very much in line with those of the demiurge (more specifically, the aspiration to "be like God", exactly like the demiurge, who wanted to be like "the real God", but was only able to create a very imperfect material world, so he failed miserably), hence it is not a useful metaphor/myth anymore, as it gets associated with making this world even more cruel and horrible, rather than with righteous rebellion against the demiurge's arrogance and wickedness. The only true rebellion lies in trying to make this world a less horrible place (regardless of the concrete possibility of succeeding in any permanent or significant way....)

Of course I'm only talking symbols and archetypes here! I don't take any of this literally, obviously. These are "stories" that help us to make sense of things, but the map is not the territory.

I agree that equating the word Lucifer to Satan is a distortion (the word Lucifer did not mean this - it's a name for Venus, the morning star) but at present Lucifer evokes Satan, the Devil etc. which are most definitely not archetypes and concepts that are useful to anybody.

wikipedia: " "Lucifer has become a byword for Satan or the Devil in the church and in popular literature",[3] as in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Joost van den Vondel's Lucifer, and John Milton's Paradise Lost.[53] However, unlike the English word, the Latin word was not used exclusively in this way and was applied to others also, including Jesus: the Latin (Vulgate) text of Revelation 22:16 (where English translations refer to Jesus as "the bright morning star") has stella matutina, not lucifer, but the term lucifer is applied to Jesus in the Easter Exultet and in a hymn by Hilary of Poitiers that contains the phrase: "Tu verus mundi lucifer" (You are the true light bringer of the world).[80]"
There was an interesting take on Michael being a polarity of lucifer. Humans should be God's. In my view it's taking back our power and ridding the demiurge and its" satanic" control. The material world which we live in is the lesser of many realms. Redeeming yourself and becoming a GOD doesn't make you evil automatically. This is where your heart comes in, as brother panic said lucifer is your first redeemer once you realize that you can begin the great work of reaching your divinity and possibly making this place and your Astral world a better place, you break out of this illusion this simulation as some might say in to the greater reality. The concept of waiting for Jesus to return is a mental prison save yourself
 
This forum, in my perspective is way to data driven when it comes to experiences that are subjective. It's turned in to an egotistical battle of experiments to try and prove dimwits like Michael Shermer and other skeptics wrong. It's essentially preaching, who cares what Shermer and his crony of close minded nilihistic skeptics believe, because it very much is a belief. It reduces people's personal experiences when we have to wait for the data to confirm my objective experiences. Well bah humbug I'll continue having esp and lucid dreams regardless of the data
 
There was an interesting take on Michael being a polarity of lucifer. Humans should be God's. In my view it's taking back our power and ridding the demiurge and its" satanic" control. The material world which we live in is the lesser of many realms. Redeeming yourself and becoming a GOD doesn't make you evil automatically. This is where your heart comes in, as brother panic said lucifer is your first redeemer once you realize that you can begin the great work of reaching your divinity and possibly making this place and your Astral world a better place, you break out of this illusion this simulation as some might say in to the greater reality. The concept of waiting for Jesus to return is a mental prison save yourself
Just wanted to clarify in case your last comment was for me that I am most definitely not waiting for Jesus to return, in fact I even doubt he came in the first place, historically speaking. And I frankly couldn't care less if he was a real person or not. To me he's an archetype. And not even an archetype that appeals to me particularly.
 
Humans should be God's. In my view it's taking back our power and ridding the demiurge and its" satanic" control.
Which humans? Do all deserve to be Gods? Maybe deserve is not the right word... maybe try and envision a world where every asshole you know has unlimted power... well asshole or not... a multiplicity of individuals with unlimited power creates a meaningless soup of non-structure... whatever structure did exist would be obliterated by unlimted power of will. Just watch a group of 5 year olds play with Legos... as soon as someone starts building a tall tower, someone else comes along and knocks it over... pretty soon there's a fight and everyone is breaking everyone else's constructions.

A lot can be learned about life and our place in the universe by watching 5 year olds play with Legos together... I even wrote a short story about this to try and capture my thoughts on it...
https://hurmanetar.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/sunday-school/

The only way to experience the feeling of power amongst a multitude of individuals is to have limited powers with the experience of growth in those powers through intention and effort. Maybe the agreed upon limitations in our powers is carried out by some sort of heavenly bureaucracy.

I tend to agree with the viewpoint of assuming that we are responsible for everything and we innately have the ultimate power and that we are in no way victims and that whatever limitations we experience are by our own agreement at some other layer of our being for the purpose of having this particular kind of experience.

You can either be a victim or empowered and I choose empowerment as it seems that you do too, so I salute you for that. :)

Yet, something about the way you phrase things and sharpness in your tone communicates to me the echoes of the various failed revolutionary and totalitarian social experiments carried out by the passion and naivete of the ideological youth. Almost like you're the young innocent Darth Vader before he becomes corrupted. I mean this in the nicest way possible. :)
 
Here in Australia we vote on tablecloths (paper ones like restaurants have) for the Senate. We have scrutineers as well as an independent Electoral Commission (who also do electoral boundaries). All very proper and retro. Nice.
*wth, you vote on "tablecloths"? wth just wth? Tablecloths? The things you cover tables with right? An entire tablecloth? You're in Australia you say.... ah, that's right, that's where Crocodial Dundee came from, I see.
 
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I think the data suggests otherwise. again one of the things I like about jeffrey martin's work is that he's measuring against well-established psychological markers.
Alex, I was listening to podcast 415 and you said something there that I think may relate to this .... My view is that we can transcend ordinary consciousness and we can reduce discontentment. But, I don't see those two things as necessarily the same.

I think discontentment is innate, but it can be reduced. I don't have a problem when Dr. Martin says meditation increases wellbeing. In my view discontentment is a consequence of our biological nature and it is necessary for the species to survive in a primitive natural environment. But most people who have a daily meditation practice will find it reduces discontentment.

It is also possible for people to transcend ordinary consciousness and perceive reality in a fundamentally different way, for example to feel oneness or to feel that the self is an illusion, or to communicate with non-physical beings, or to visit the afterlife, etc, etc.

I am not sure if Dr. Martin has really addressed any type of transcendental experience or if he has just characterized the effects of meditation on ordinary consciousness.

His focus on "wellbeing" and using an acronym PNSE to put "enlightenment" (non-symbolic consciousness) at arms length gives me the impression that he is not dealing with a transcendental form of consciousness. When I communicate with people who have experienced Buddhist awakening, they don't talk about wellbeing or "no self thoughts".They talk about seeing through the illusion of self and realizing there is no self. It's not an incremental experience measured with statistics. It is a quantum leap into a new reality that you cannot ever return from.
 
useful to think of being bound in mystery instead of being bound in space/time.
nice :)

And the ultimate mystical experience, Location 4, is about not having any emotions at all, which seems to be in "bioligical robot" territory, just a different path to get there. Surely, that's not the ultimate goal of all the time, money, and effort.
naaa, just think Zen monk kinda thing... you may not choose it, but it a well-worn path. Jeffery isn't claiming to have invented anything... just measuring.
 
This vulnerability to different perspectives shows how "delicate" any given theory or perspective is--the best theory on any big question seems to be a house of cards that is reliant on specific commitments and "free miracles" --- come in with a perspective that is built on different commitments or free miracles and a serious challenge will ensue. One can think of theories and perspectives more as practices or techniques than as some absolute representation of ultimate truth.
I really appreciate the delicacy of your thought here. We are, as individuals, profoundly vulnerable to so many influences and degree of subtlety that are hard to imagine. It is one reason I stuck with astrology. Over the past 3 years I have had 'year ahead' readings - because the first one was stunningly accurate I had to do it again the next year - and that blew me away as well -so year 3 too. How and why do that work / not work? At my urging one of my sisters had a natal chart done by the same astrologer and she was not enthused. Why was that?

Does it come down to the cosmos responding to us on a deep level - as individuals? I have reasons for thinking this is so. But why some and not others? What is the point of having theory that fails to serve its purpose and results in a rejection of the hypothesis it was was intended to explore? We can reject the theory or the hypothesis equally - and how often do we reject the hypothesis because we are captive to the theory?

The classic that comes to mind for me is the atheist who defines God, and having found no evidence of God, as defined, concludes that God does not exist. In so doing he/she fails to note that the only evidence they have is that God (as they define) does not exist - on the basis of their experience. The flaw in the argument should be self-evident to the rational/intelligent/educated observer. But they are the ones who make the error routinely.

When you say that "One can think of theories and perspectives more as practices or techniques than as some absolute representation of ultimate truth." I think the problem is more that the "theories and perspectives" are taken to be representations of "ultimate truth" and not seen as "practices or techniques" - which they are, and can be no other.

I don't think we can represent "ultimate truth" in other than metaphoric ways. For me arguments and theories are 'way finders' that point us in the right direction - we are talking orientation rather than destination. I see 'beliefs' as what the immature want when thy demand to know "Are we there yet?" Faith is what the grown up have, knowing that the journey is long and they are going in the right direction. Done well, developing a theory helps us sense the right direction. Done badly, it becomes a premature destination.
 
*wth, you vote on "tablecloths"? wth just wth? Tablecloths? The things you cover tables with right? An entire tablecloth? You're in Australia you say.... ah, that's right, that's where Crocodial Dundee came from, I see.
We vote on paper slips in private booths (at least we did before I left for the U.S. 10 years ago). Pencil, slip of paper, mark your sheet in private for the preferred candidate(s), and then drop in a box.

The Crocodial Dundee reference wasn't needed. Your intention was to diminish Australians as being somehow dim because of a populist movie from the 80s, as if that was the summation of our culture. Michael probably felt it was not worth the effort to reply to the dig, but as someone who puts up with this crap on a daily basis (aww, you're from Australia! <insert uninformed comment>), I call this bullshit out when I read it.

This forum is about discussing complex ideas, and nationality has very little to do with that.

Sorry to derail the forum topic, but the Skeptiko forum is better than this kind of cultural superiority nonsense.
 
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