Debra Diamond Brings Wall Street Smarts to NDEs, and Mediumship |424|

What a bizarre few hours on the internet.

It was like a condensed Brexit. Maybe it’s a message that I ought to give up politics?

It might have been rather emotional, if I hadn’t feel quite secure about everything I’d written.
 
h, agree, but what about some ultimate authority? Steve thinks (and perhaps relishes) that I might have a bad life review. I don't think it would be so horrible and I like to believe to the bright points would outweigh any negatives - at least it wouldn't be worse or better than anyone else's, IMO.
My understanding of life reviews is that they are not about punishment, but awareness, so the idea of a 'bad' life review is erroneous. Neither are life reviews about balancing good and bad - but growing in consciousness from life experiences - and growing in insight and compassion. I think we are all misguided by the Christian doctrine and the misinterpretations of Buddhism made popular in the 1960s.

Obviously confronting the harm we have done must be part of a review. Sometimes we harm with intent [and here I do not mean military service - but acts of vengeance or anger or malice] and sometimes without intent. Some times we intend to do good but cause harm. In all cases honest confrontation of our acts gives us the chance to become more self-aware - and through self-awareness more loving. Such experience may be intensely painful, compared to which some form of punishment might seem to be preferable.

If you follow the root of the idea of punishment you get back to pain - which is supposed to 'corrective'. So the 'objective' of punishment is precisely what a life review is about - but the pain is self-generated via awakening awareness of a wrong committed and remorse.

But what of those who are insensible efforts to stimulate self-awareness and remorse? We can choose to inflict pain and suffering on them in any case. But this is vengeance and not punishment, strictly speaking - and maybe that is fair enough? Jesus didn't think so - something few Christians seem to grasp. Was Jesus wrong? Its a problem that is edited out of the faith - which isn't, hence, really Christian, strictly speaking.

My point is that the ultimate authority is one's own soul as we evolve awareness of it. In a life review we 'punish' ourselves. The deal is that we must look, but how we look is down to us. Of course there are consequences for the choice we make - and we can only ever do what we can. So the idea that we are punished by a higher power is just wrong. A loving God would have us grow in self-awareness from taking responsibility for our actions, not making us victims of his wrath. He has, apparently, vengeance for the intransigent.

We see the world differently. Your life experiences filter your intelligence and passion in one way, and my life experiences direct my expression in another. But we share a sense of values and virtues - filtered by what we know or believe. But its not a zero sum game. There's room enough for diverse interpretations. Argument is natural and healthy - so long as it does not lead to polarisation.

I think there are things that will remain contentious, and must be left alone because there is no hope of resolving them. But generally they represent a small portion of ideas and are not /should not be deal breakers. I am having a difficult time with a friend at the moment. They have formulated a belief based on information I believe is misleading or wrong [and I have offered to substantiate my position] - and I think the belief adopted is a conspiracy theory. I cannot engage in discussion on this belief with my friend because I cannot credit the premise upon which any discussion would be based. Let's not talk about it please. I simply cannot give the matter the credence needed. But it turns out that I am disrespecting my friend and I am sticking my head in the sand and being closed minded.

This is not a zero sum game but it is being turned into one. I am now having to argue about not wanting to be drawn into a discussion in which I cannot be an honest or willing participant. This is becoming destructive. When argument violates individual will and dignity it becomes toxic. Argument to uncover insight or bias is fine. I learn a lot from good argument.
 
Both suffering from the error that 1. you do not understand what I am saying and yet, 2. contend that I am wrong. A form of plural arguing fallacy, which leaves me underwhelmed.

I cannot vouch for everyone in this video personally - I would need to see more of their lives, but these are the accoutrements/verbiage of the costume.
Frankly, I’m not at all bothered whether you’re underwhelmed or otherwise.

You dismiss the video without even watching it, I may be wrong of course, but your reply came much quicker than the videos runtime and it was posted yesterday. The catalyst post in this spat was about your two children, which you appeared to say displayed traits of ‘light’ rather than ‘dark’, if I may express myself in broad terms. I suggest that most people are very positively affected by such traits when they appear. They are, in my opinion, an insight to the divine.

You spat the dummy when I posted this short message, in response to your patronising and pithy “Academic. Untested. The costume.”
I think you’re quite wrong here.
In the video, at around 17mins, Spira states the following:

“Every person that I have ever met, or heard of, or read about, that had recognised their true nature (which I, Steve, take to mean enlightenment) is a kind, loving, compassionate person.”

Imo this appears to contradict Jim Smith and others’ opinion. Jim recently posted:

I think the community of students of spirituality would be better served if teachers stopped telling us that enlightenment means you are a nice person.

It doesn't. Enlightenment does not erase your personality. It means you have ended suffering for yourself, or at least reduced it significantly.
If Jim and Rupert don’t both mean ‘enlightenment’, then I admit that this post loses its point.

Well, in my book a nice person would be someone who displays traits such as kindness, love and compassion. I’m not sure what Jim thinks, except that he appears to think differently about what characterises enlightened people.

Spira goes on and expands on this, saying that this doesn’t mean that they all smile all the time...

This point alone validates my post imo. Here are Spira’s ‘spiritual credentials’, which surely makes his (rather informed) opinion worth hearing. His widespread supporters include people like Bernardo Kastrup and Peter Russell and many others.

Scoff away, it’s your loss.

‘From an early age Rupert Spira was deeply interested in the nature of reality. At the age of seventeen he learnt to meditate, and began a twenty-year period of study and practice in the classical Advaita Vedanta tradition under the guidance of Dr. Francis Roles and Shantananda Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of the north of India. During this time he immersed himself in the teachings of P. D. Ouspensky, Krishnamurti, Rumi, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta and Robert Adams, until he met his teacher, Francis Lucille, in 1997. Francis introduced Rupert to the Direct Path teachings of Atmananda Krishna Menon, the Tantric tradition of Kashmir Shaivism (which he had received from his teacher, Jean Klein), and, more importantly, directly indicated to him the true nature of experience. Rupert lives in the UK and holds regular meetings and retreats in Europe and the USA.’
 
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“Every person that I have ever met, or heard of, or read about, that had recognised their true nature (which I, Steve, take to mean enlightenment) is a kind, loving, compassionate person.”

Imo this appears to contradict Jim Smith and others’ opinion. Jim recently posted:

If Jim and Rupert don’t both mean ‘enlightenment’, then I admit that this post loses its point.

Well, in my book a nice person would be someone who displays traits such as kindness, love and compassion. I’m not sure what Jim thinks, except that he appears to think differently about what characterises enlightened people.
Steve here are just a few of the problems I have with your beliefs about enlightment = love/kindness/compassion:

1. Presumably being enlightened means moving past one's ego and aligning with higher truths/God/The Source, etc (let's just call all of that "God" for ease of discussion). Well God created volcanoes, stars that super nova, lions that eat zebras, bacteria and viruses that invade bodies and destroy them, liars and deceivers, murderers - Gods creation contains - nay depends on in many instances, like the ecosystem - a lot of violent activity and viciousness and ruthless killing. So, is enlightenment only aligning with parts of God and "what is"?

2. If enlightenment is aligning with only certain aspects of God, then who decides which aspects of God represent "enlightenment" when aligned to and which represent something less than enlightenment? Is it safe to say that God is not enlightened because earthquakes and hurricanes and great white sharks?

3. How do you even define concepts like "kindness"? The opium addict thinks you kind if you give her more opium and a beast if you cut off access and that leads to withdrawal. A drill instructor is ruthless on military recruits and is often perceived by the recruits as being a sadist. But being a smiling, easy going forgiving DI would result in the recruits not getting the hardening and discipline they need out of basic training; resulting perhaps getting themselves and mates killed later on + letting the country down in a time of need. Sometimes a doctor cuts off a person's leg.
Sometimes a parent must punish a child and the child cries and thinks his parents to be cruel.

4. I can think of no reason that an 'enlightened person" - whatever that is - would be kind, loving or compassionate. It all sounds like a circular definition and no true Scotsman type situation - which is me being "kind" by not telling you what I really think of the whole cluster of arbitrary assumptions and definitions around this topic. IMO, a lot of the gurus are pretty much the same a the pharmaceutical companies. The company sells you Prozac and the gurus sell you books or lectures on something that's going to make a smiling carefree fool out of you, but never does.
 
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Frankly, I’m not at all bothered whether you’re underwhelmed or otherwise.

You dismiss the video without even watching it, I may be wrong of course, but your reply came much quicker than the videos runtime and it was posted yesterday.
The reason is because I was engaging with you, and not a half-hour video veneer. After you decided to yet again, step in unprovoked, and start categorizing and demeaning people you have targeted, for no good reason

- the video was insincerely posed and therefore, was moot. Just as the 'I can't go for that' video was also insulting and darkly purposed. This does not make Hall and Oates a bad musical group, nor does it mean that I must watch and evaluate that music video.

The issue was that the two videos reflected negatively upon you... They were costume ornaments.

You the messenger are not consistent with the message of the enlightenment video. The enlightenment video was simply another Hall and Oates song.

You missed that the comment, 'academic, untested, the costume' was not about the video. You may fool yourself, but you are not fooling me. This entirely unnecessary and pointless-other-than-for-ill-intent conversation is now done.
 
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Firstly I’d say that people talk of enlightenment - I don’t really have a clue what that means. People like Rupert claim to have met ‘enlightened’ people, as I asked in a recent post - what identifies them? If it was written in a ‘holy book’ that “When a person becomes enlightened, they start to glow in a white light so that others may recognise them” I might be more intrigued by the notion. What percentage of us have either the time or the interest in reality?

The thing is, enlightenment would surely be subjective if humans are making the decision. One man’s ideal enlightened person may be far from another’s.

Well God created volcanoes, stars that super nova, lions that eat zebras, bacteria and viruses that invade bodies and destroy them, liars and deceivers, murderers - Gods creation contains - nay depends on in many instances, like the ecosystem - a lot of violent activity and viciousness and ruthless killing.
Sure, that is all true. My answer contains only evidence, the ‘best’ that I can come up with, I of course, really don’t have a scooby (doo - clue) about what God really is or wants with ‘us’.

In the latest NDE that I have read, here on this forum, the author once again tells us that:

I asked the guide and God what was the purpose of life? I heard a pause and sort of a sound of someone sighing. It was as if this entity felt I should know the answer. It said, "The purpose of life is to love". The guide said I had ten minutes to chose to stay or go back. I agreed and told them to send me back to my family.
I kept coming to the same message years ago, when I was ‘seeking’ after my stroke. I don’t have a record of everything I researched, but it was an intense period of around four years. I woke up in the morning and reached for my iPad, until I lay down at night to go to sleep. Interrupted generally only by eating, meditating or my physiotherapy. I meditated nearly every day, not sure why, but it was like something inside me just suddenly made me want to do it.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that Love was somehow what it was all about.

We intuitively know that is true. We know it when our kids make us laugh, when we can’t entice them to lie (hi TES), when we feel amazing just being here, when we look in wonder at the stars or the sunset or a million other things. We know in our hearts that Love beats all else.

Only this morning, I felt on top of the world when my daughter made (what I consider) the right choice, to force herself out of bed that she’d got into at 3am, and go to work. Without any interference from us. It made me feel good because she doesn’t _really_have to go, as it is a friend of ours business and isn’t a full time proper job, she starts her studies later this month. She could have made the semi-valid excuse that she had been up very late, as she has occasionally done, much to my wife and I’s disappointment. It is a sign that she’s growing up to do the right thing!

This is what a big part of life’s about. Choices.

We can choose to concentrate on the negative, sure. Volcano’s can be dangerous, but they can be seen as awesome and beautiful. I guess the same with super novas, everything you have said, lions and zebras, the latter appear to be chosen as lesser than the lion. I honestly don’t see things that way, I don’t see the zebra as less than the lion. I am sure that a zebra would be just as capable of humbling me as would a lion. That are all amazing creatures. One eats the other to survive, but it appears that we must all succumb at some time, what better way for a zebra to go than being eaten by a lion! It is the cycle of life, but to concentrate on the negative is surely to miss out so much positive? I think Acceptance of the downsides is part of any growing we do. In a way, it makes life that much more exciting, don’t you think?

For every liar and deceiver, or murderer, there will be an honest person, or someone such as Michael that does healing work. We tend to concentrate on the dark, while ignoring the light.

I tend to think that it makes some sort of sense that we are here on earth to grow. Why God wants/needs us to do so? I don’t know.

Is it safe to say that God is not enlightened because earthquakes and hurricanes and great white sharks?
God no. The examples you give are positives, not negatives! God enlightened? I don’t think this is part of the deal.

How do you even define concepts like "kindness"?
It is when you feel that you are doing the right thing on someone else’s behalf. Even when in fact, it is not. Intent is everything. Kindness is when an Israeli soldier feels something in his heart and gives a sweet to a Palestinian kid. If the sweet happens to contain some virus that ultimately gives the youngster cancer, it is still kindness. You can only know what you know. There are complicated scenarios that you describe which we can only hope and prey we don’t encounter. But intent and wisdom ought to get you through, if you are wise enough, you should welcome the tough DI in certain circumstances. As long as he doesn’t kill you!

Actually, interestingly, I listened to a video by Andrew Wakefield recently. His thinking about the measles virus is far from that of the usual scientist. After telling us he’d studied them for some decades I came away with the strong impression that he has grown to deeply respect a ‘simple’ little thing like a virus, he appeared to me to think of it as divine. Not what you might expect really.

It all sounds like a circular definition and no true Scotsman type situation - which is me being "kind" by not telling you what I really think of the whole cluster of arbitrary assumptions and definitions around this topic
See, you definitely know what kindness is.

Look, I have my ideas. Others have theirs. I’ll leave you with this book, which you probably know about.

http://www.brainybetty.com/2007Motivation/Khalil Gibran - The Prophet.pdf

Finally a couple of quotes from my book. The first, which appears in the intro, is by a (one time?) member of this forum, Manjit, which sums up very well how I feel about things:

"And I can't help but feel that the universe, reality, consciousness, being, divinity or whatever....... is just so much more mysterious, awesome, magical, astonishing, incomprehensible, mind-shattering than anything humankind has conceived of."

This is how I end, both my book, and this post.

A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.” The Prophet–Kahlil Gibran
 
Your basic first instinct is to attack, insult, demean, categorize, ... based upon someone you hated in your past. I am sorry you had to undergo such injury, but please leave me out of it.
He never used it on me. I got on very well with my dad. (Just in case that’s what you meant.)
 
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Firstly I’d say that people talk of enlightenment - I don’t really have a clue what that means. People like Rupert claim to have met ‘enlightened’ people, as I asked in a recent post - what identifies them? If it was written in a ‘holy book’ that “When a person becomes enlightened, they start to glow in a white light so that others may recognise them” I might be more intrigued by the notion. What percentage of us have either the time or the interest in reality?

The thing is, enlightenment would surely be subjective if humans are making the decision. One man’s ideal enlightened person may be far from another’s.



Sure, that is all true. My answer contains only evidence, the ‘best’ that I can come up with, I of course, really don’t have a scooby (doo - clue) about what God really is or wants with ‘us’.

In the latest NDE that I have read, here on this forum, the author once again tells us that:



I kept coming to the same message years ago, when I was ‘seeking’ after my stroke. I don’t have a record of everything I researched, but it was an intense period of around four years. I woke up in the morning and reached for my iPad, until I lay down at night to go to sleep. Interrupted generally only by eating, meditating or my physiotherapy. I meditated nearly every day, not sure why, but it was like something inside me just suddenly made me want to do it.

Anyway, I came to the conclusion that Love was somehow what it was all about.

We intuitively know that is true. We know it when our kids make us laugh, when we can’t entice them to lie (hi TES), when we feel amazing just being here, when we look in wonder at the stars or the sunset or a million other things. We know in our hearts that Love beats all else.

Only this morning, I felt on top of the world when my daughter made (what I consider) the right choice, to force herself out of bed that she’d got into at 3am, and go to work. Without any interference from us. It made me feel good because she doesn’t _really_have to go, as it is a friend of ours business and isn’t a full time proper job, she starts her studies later this month. She could have made the semi-valid excuse that she had been up very late, as she has occasionally done, much to my wife and I’s disappointment. It is a sign that she’s growing up to do the right thing!

This is what a big part of life’s about. Choices.

We can choose to concentrate on the negative, sure. Volcano’s can be dangerous, but they can be seen as awesome and beautiful. I guess the same with super novas, everything you have said, lions and zebras, the latter appear to be chosen as lesser than the lion. I honestly don’t see things that way, I don’t see the zebra as less than the lion. I am sure that a zebra would be just as capable of humbling me as would a lion. That are all amazing creatures. One eats the other to survive, but it appears that we must all succumb at some time, what better way for a zebra to go than being eaten by a lion! It is the cycle of life, but to concentrate on the negative is surely to miss out so much positive? I think Acceptance of the downsides is part of any growing we do. In a way, it makes life that much more exciting, don’t you think?

For every liar and deceiver, or murderer, there will be an honest person, or someone such as Michael that does healing work. We tend to concentrate on the dark, while ignoring the light.

I tend to think that it makes some sort of sense that we are here on earth to grow. Why God wants/needs us to do so? I don’t know.



God no. The examples you give are positives, not negatives! God enlightened? I don’t think this is part of the deal.



It is when you feel that you are doing the right thing on someone else’s behalf. Even when in fact, it is not. Intent is everything. Kindness is when an Israeli soldier feels something in his heart and gives a sweet to a Palestinian kid. If the sweet happens to contain some virus that ultimately gives the youngster cancer, it is still kindness. You can only know what you know. There are complicated scenarios that you describe which we can only hope and prey we don’t encounter. But intent and wisdom ought to get you through, if you are wise enough, you should welcome the tough DI in certain circumstances. As long as he doesn’t kill you!

Actually, interestingly, I listened to a video by Andrew Wakefield recently. His thinking about the measles virus is far from that of the usual scientist. After telling us he’d studied them for some decades I came away with the strong impression that he has grown to deeply respect a ‘simple’ little thing like a virus, he appeared to me to think of it as divine. Not what you might expect really.



See, you definitely know what kindness is.

Look, I have my ideas. Others have theirs. I’ll leave you with this book, which you probably know about.

http://www.brainybetty.com/2007Motivation/Khalil Gibran - The Prophet.pdf

Finally a couple of quotes from my book. The first, which appears in the intro, is by a (one time?) member of this forum, Manjit, which sums up very well how I feel about things:

"And I can't help but feel that the universe, reality, consciousness, being, divinity or whatever....... is just so much more mysterious, awesome, magical, astonishing, incomprehensible, mind-shattering than anything humankind has conceived of."

This is how I end, both my book, and this post.

A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.” The Prophet–Kahlil Gibran
Steve,
I think you are misunderstanding in some instances above.

I am not saying the lion is superior to the zebra. Please take what I say at face value. There's no hidden message. I try to be clear, but too often fail, I guess.

I'm just saying that while you can come with scenarios regarding love and kindness with which I certainly don't disagree, there are many other scenarios, in real life, where things are not so clear.

For example, the Israeli soldier giving a Palestinian child some candy is nice. I think Israeli soldiers should give the kids candy when they can. I also don't think that the soldiers should gun down people on mere suspicion; and certainly not for reason of only ingrained animosity built up over generations.

However, in real life their are scenarios that are much more complicated. For example a group of Palestinians is firing rockets or mortars at Israeli settlements. They are firing from a position that is also a Palestinian school or hospital (they actually do that). Does the soldier call in an airstrike on the position? Does he fire his weapon at the position knowing he might hit a child? If he doesn't, the Palestinian mortar fire can hit Israeli children. What to do? IMO, his duty and take out the Palestinian position, but it is an ugly decision to have to make. It doesn't matter at that moment who started things decades ago.

Pacifism in general is not an answer because by not acting, you are still making a decision and it may be a decision to allow someone to die or otherwise be harmed because you didn't act to stop it. I know you didn't (yet) advocate pacifism, but it is a common attribute found among those who believe the purpose of life is to love.

Personally, I also believe the purpose of life is to love, but love has many forms and it hides in the strangest places. Something I doubt you'll ever understand is that one of the sacrifices soldiers make, besides laying down their lives, is, if they survive, their innocence and the purity of their soul so that others don't have to go there. Is that not love? Love that hides amidst the physical and emotional pain, death and destruction of war? Do you think those troops debarking landing craft into machinegun crossfires and exploding artillery and through the blood and bodies of their buddies to free Europe (or wherever) from oppression were just stupid oxen? No man. That's love of the highest order. But where lines are drawn in all of that, I do not know.

In real life decisions must be made as too how much one is willing to sacrifice of oneself - and/or those one is responsible to protect and provide for - for the benefit of others. At what point are the others more deserving, valuable, etc. than oneself and one's own? At what point do we say "sucks to be you" in favor of ourselves and our family, neighbors, etc. Because there is a line. At some you have to do what is cruel to some to be kind to others.

I don't pretend to have the answers. My point in all of the discussions/arguments we have had is that things are way more complicated than you and some others want them to be. if you want to hide from that, it's fine with me. But if you do hide, then please don't be sanctimonious. I'm not saying you are or aren't, just that sometimes, IMO, you come awfully close, but maybe I'm overly sensitive in some areas. It's a real possibility.
 
Something I doubt you'll ever understand is that one of the sacrifices soldiers make, besides laying down their lives, is, if they survive, their innocence and the purity of their soul so that others don't have to go there. Is that not love?
There’s a fair chance that I have fought and died in a previous life, so have already learned what I had to learn.
It may indeed be a form of love. Maybe refusing to fight is another.

At some you have to do what is cruel to some to be kind to others.
Sure, definitely.

My point in all of the discussions/arguments we have had is that things are way more complicated than you and some others want them to be.
Surely you read this ? For me it sums up so much. Manjit’s original quote inserted a ‘fucking’ between the words more and mysterious if I remember correctly. I left it out, as I didn’t want any swearing in this book. There was plenty in my first one!

And I can't help but feel that the universe, reality, consciousness, being, divinity or whatever....... is just so much more mysterious, awesome, magical, astonishing, incomprehensible, mind-shattering than anything humankind has conceived of."

On a smaller, more realistic scale. Things are often as complicated as an individual wants them to be. Strangely enough, I can presently totally relate to this. As I recently wrote what I thought was a quite straightforward explanation, but unfortunately this has been interpreted in what I see as a bizarre way which complicated things beyond anything I either intended or needed.


I'm not saying you are or aren't, just that sometimes, IMO, you come awfully close, but maybe I'm overly sensitive in some areas. It's a real possibility.
Thanks for that. Give and take, that’s fair.
 
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1. Presumably being enlightened means moving past one's ego and aligning with higher truths/God/The Source, etc (let's just call all of that "God" for ease of discussion). Well God created volcanoes, stars that super nova, lions that eat zebras, bacteria and viruses that invade bodies and destroy them, liars and deceivers, murderers - Gods creation contains - nay depends on in many instances, like the ecosystem - a lot of violent activity and viciousness and ruthless killing. So, is enlightenment only aligning with parts of God and "what is"?
Hey Eric. You have identified a great problem that challenges how we understand love and enlightenment - and especially distilling it into smiling platitudes that are dispensed as a kind intellectual soporific. The idea that God is Love is not a gentle sentiment. Its easily uttered by the innocent who ignore the central drama of Christianity - the 'sacrifice of the Son via a brutal execution in order to expiate the sins of humanity. That's tough love. Love can be filled with pain and sacrifice - a mother's love for her children, a soldier's love for his country and the like.

Enlightenment can be pretentious BS in the hands of spiritual fakers and spewers of platitudes. To the extent that it is a real idea, and not a misrepresentation perpetrated those who simply do not know enough to know they don't know enough, maybe its about 'getting it' - albeit by degrees, rather than in a sudden cosmic rush.

In my youth I read a lot of Buddhism and mistakenly thought enlightenment was some absolute flash of clarity. Then I 'woke up' to myself and realised that it was nothing of the sort. I get that deep spiritual masters are 'enlightened' relative to me, but not by their own measure - rather their fans make that claim. The fake gurus do make that claim, of course.

You are right that there is "a lot of violent activity and viciousness and ruthless killing", but that underpins the energetic nature of physical reality - and we simply ignore it when it suits. How violent is a cup of coffee? How violent is cleaning your teeth? Transfer of energy and form is inherently violent. In fact nothing we experience in the physical world is free from inherent violence because form resists change and any act to alter form demands energy to be applied in a coercive manner. At its core music is violent. Indeed I do not think any human loving act is not violent at its core.

I am no Christian, by the way, but my fascination for religion drives me to examine what drives it. The centre of it holds love - and sacrifice - and suffering. You can separate out these three for the purpose of preaching a false gospel. You can't if you want to know truth IMO.

I think the spiritual dimension is somewhat more refined, because it is not as resistant and so does not require such violent processes. Would say, too, that love, sacrifice and suffering have finer analogues.
 
Firstly I’d say that people talk of enlightenment - I don’t really have a clue what that means. People like Rupert claim to have met ‘enlightened’ people, as I asked in a recent post - what identifies them?
Don't we have to look to the tradition(s) out of which the term emerged to understand what it means? The Eastern traditions, especially Buddhism, seem to me to be the ones to look towards. I am no Buddhist scholar nor even especially well-read on Buddhism, but I am pretty confident in suggesting that "enlightenment" in Buddhist terms is defined by not only abiding wisdom and insight into reality but also by abiding compassion (for the suffering of others) - which makes the enlightened one in a meaningful sense a "nice" person. I suppose that alternate understandings of enlightenment are possible - but they would be non-standard and idiosyncratic.
 
I suppose that alternate understandings of enlightenment are possible - but they would be non-standard and idiosyncratic.
I have always approached things practically Laird. Though I was a simulator examiner I occasionally bent the rules (SOPs) as the Captain flying the plane when I felt they made little practical difference except to make our task almost impossible to achieve and were in place to appease the authorities. Imo they sometimes made the operation more dangerous.

I would ask: Show me an enlightened person. :)
 
I would ask: Show me an enlightened person. :)
A friend of mine was recently made aware that his understanding of local government regulations was in error. He is now 'enlightened' on that matter. Ergo he is an enlightened person.

But otherwise, Steve, its not a useful term without a definition we agree on. Its a term we have taken from Buddhism, and Laird has stripped it down to an elegant simplicity. I'd add that its somebody not driven by an unexamined ego and generally nice - but on the proviso that being 'nice' means an absence of malice as opposed to softness.

We try to communicate with so many words whose meanings are vague, so its no wonder we fumble, argue and disagree on matters we actually substantially agree on.
 
Wittgenstein Attribute by Exception - a condition wherein the definition of a concept, term, quality or attribute can only be objectively described by comparison to what it is not. A logical object which is exclusively tenable through outlining cases wherein it or its qualities are absent. Often framed by 'I don't know how to define it, but I know when I am in it', for example; usually involving merely a personal standard of measure. Attempts to define as logical objects, concepts such as love, happiness, genuineness, good, enlightenment, etc. Two errors result from a positive logical object approach in defining this type of Wittgenstein attribute:

a. epistemological study or social deliberation of such qualities ends up being more equivocal, ineffective or subject to personal experience than is presumed beneficial, and

b. the pseudo-objective standards of such a definition, can be worn as a masquerade by entities which truly do not actually bear such concepts as qualities.​
 
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Wittgenstein Attribute by Exception - a condition wherein the definition of a concept, term, quality or attribute can only be objectively described by comparison to what it is not. A logical object which is exclusively tenable through outlining cases wherein it or its qualities are absent. Often framed by 'I don't know how to define it, but I know when I am in it', for example; usually involving merely a personal standard of measure. Attempts to define as logical objects, concepts such as love, happiness, genuineness, good, enlightenment, etc. Two errors result from a positive logical object approach in defining this type of Wittgenstein attribute:

a. epistemological study or social deliberation of such qualities ends up being more equivocal, ineffective or subject to personal experience than is presumed beneficial, and​
b. the pseudo-objective standards of such a definition, can be worn as a masquerade by entities which truly do not actually bear such concepts as qualities.​
When I work on a national infrastructure strategy - I cannot honestly say that my motives derive solely from a compassion for the people of that nation. That is part of it, yes. But I refuse to join political clubs who wear such faux-compassion in order to gain power...

I am motivated by - in order of importance
- my life mission, using my talents​
- monetary gain​
- the suffering of that nation's people​
- the satisfaction of disempowering crony, mafiosi and cartel entities​
- the fun of tackling and solving an asymmetric problem​
- the patents and intellectual property I can file for the new technologies and applications we develop​
- building my qualification base and history of (hopefully successful) projects​
But I must understand this and not wear the third bullet point as my cloak of approval. When I do this, I am more apt to deceive myself and create more harm than good. I must understand and face my own evil. I must know how it can be exploited to bring suffering and harm. I cannot afford the luxury of becoming a virtue signaler... because, that is the Wittgensetin Attribute Exception. I cannot allow my work to be verschlimmbesserung...

Verschlimmbesserung – (German) to make something worse while trying to make it better. The fallacy of judging disasters by the measure that, those who bore the ‘good intentions’ should bear no fault, or place themselves as disconnected from the disaster.
Our nation, our world - suffers first from a critical threshold of crony-cartel-mafia activity, and second, from the good intention costumes of those who have not overcome this issue. The useful idiot. The pretend skeptic. The apparatchik.

for the money.png

Most importantly, I cannot learn all this through studying, political club identity, scripture memorization, getting a divinity degree nor PhD, talking with spirits, being nice, going off-grid, meditating on a mountain, joining a religious order, nor contemplating enlightenment. Otherwise, there would be no need for visiting this prison in the first place. We can do all that masturbation anywhere.
 
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Most importantly, I cannot learn all this through studying, political club identity, scripture memorization, getting a divinity degree nor PhD, talking with spirits, being nice, going off-grid, meditating on a mountain, joining a religious order, nor contemplating enlightenment. Otherwise, there would be no need for visiting this prison in the first place. We can do all that masturbation anywhere.
Love it TES! There's always a risk of sounding like an arrogant wanker in this kind of conversation, but there's nothing like a dose of 'real life' hard scrabble service to bring your noble thought balloons down to earth. I work in social policy in which fine well intentioned folk try to figure out how address the needs of the dispossessed and down trodden. But this so often results in nice white middle-class, university educated city folk dreaming up politically correct, but utterly ineffectual, schemes to spend public money in the name of a noble sense of duty.

The sense of compassionate duty I get, but filtering it through a middle class conceit drives me nuts. As a person with disability I am passionately committed to the principle of "nothing about us without us" - and I'd extend that ideal to the "homeless" who don't want to live in houses - and all the other 'ungrateful' recipients of 'help' they didn't ask for. This becomes a case of 'we will do good on our terms, because we are good and educated, and we know what is good and right.'

The maddening reality is that this mush of good intent sees the unfortunate recipients of the misguided largess as "clients" - as if they have been engaged [by God?] to perform ministrations of a one-sided act of compassion.

If you have the opportunity, read Ernesto Sirolli's Ripples from the Zambezi. Sirolli joined an Italian aid agency in Africa straight out of uni, and was shocked by what he experienced and witnessed. That led to his passion - sirolli.com
 
Love it TES! There's always a risk of sounding like an arrogant wanker in this kind of conversation, but there's nothing like a dose of 'real life' hard scrabble service to bring your noble thought balloons down to earth.
Absolutely, if you simply help the lady with kids next door get groceries out of her car, you have done spiritually every bit the task I have ever done... this is merely my particular life situation/path and is not purposed to sound intimidating. I am still a journeyman spiritually and woefully behind at that.

I work in social policy in which fine well intentioned folk try to figure out how address the needs of the dispossessed and down trodden. But this so often results in nice white middle-class, university educated city folk dreaming up politically correct, but utterly ineffectual, schemes to spend public money in the name of a noble sense of duty. The sense of compassionate duty I get, but filtering it through a middle class conceit drives me nuts. As a person with disability I am passionately committed to the principle of "nothing about us without us" - and I'd extend that ideal to the "homeless" who don't want to live in houses - and all the other 'ungrateful' recipients of 'help' they didn't ask for. This becomes a case of 'we will do good on our terms, because we are good and educated, and we know what is good and right.'
hear, hear... my kids can't get disability, despite being both flat broke and severely disabled, for this very reason. They are not in the 'disadvantaged' social category because they are the wrong skin color, so their disability does not count. This is the handiwork of 'niceness in action' (also known as 'evil').

If you have the opportunity, read Ernesto Sirolli's Ripples from the Zambezi. Sirolli joined an Italian aid agency in Africa straight out of uni, and was shocked by what he experienced and witnessed. That led to his passion - sirolli.com
Will do, as this looks really good... 'passion, entrepreneurship and the rebirth of local economies'!!! Where has this guy been?!!!
 
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"hear, hear... my kids can't get disability, despite being both flat broke and severely disabled, for this very reason. They are not in the 'disadvantaged' social category because they are the wrong skin color, so their disability does not count. This is the handiwork of 'niceness in action' (also know as 'evil')."

TES,
I am going through the same struggle with my only sibling, a brother who is 4 years younger than I - who I'm sworn to protect and am legal guardian of - and who has been a chronic paranoid schizophrenic since he was 19 (33 years ago). I had set up a trust for him about 30 years ago and just about all of the money is gone now. I'm trying to get him on SSI and some other assistance and it's not going well. He has never worked and is severely disabled, though stable on meds for the past 28 years. The people in the system tell me that the problem is resources are tight. But them illegal aliens, they sure get everything they want in terms of govt support (and more if a democrat is elected). So American citizens, even members of multi-generational military families must take a back seat. Yep, that's one way bleeding heart do-gooders are actually evil doers.

My son, 100% disabled from a head wound received in Afghanistan is getting good enough care at the VA, but will that funding hold out if the do-gooders get all of their wishes granted in the next couple of years?
 
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