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August 28, 2006


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Dear Brian,
There are many (false) "gods" that I don't believe to exist (except as thoughts/conceptions in the minds of many "believers"). The "God" of the Bible is among those false gods. Yet as I have pursued my thinking, generally along lines I refer to as being "(naturalistically) pantheistic," I have come to entertain the notion that something like Plotinus' "One" truly does exist. (Such notions are what keep me coming back to peruse your site.) It does not seem to me that that from which I have come to be is a "theos," but I yet query: Does our proposition that the "One" (which I sometimes call "GOD")is the source of all other "being" remove us from the category of being "a-theists"? While "personhood" certainly is something brought about (in us humans) by the One (="GOD"), it seems to me that the originitive source of all transcends personhood. But "personhood" still arises from It. Are we such believers in the One just a variant type of "theists" - despite our "a-theism"? Robert Paul Howard

Good question, Robert. I've been reading a book that stimulated similar thoughts in me today. Might address the issue in a post soon.

Preview: the book's author, Daniel Dennett, suggests that if "God" simply means ultimate reality, or the final frontier of materiality, then it really doesn't mean much.

He says that a lot of believers--or are they unbelievers?--strip God of many unduly anthropomorphic qualities. Obviously God can't be a man, or even a person, or maybe even a conscious individualized being.

OK. But then you're left with the question: What's left of God? Does "God" just become an empty concept when all you can say is "it's a mystery."

Maybe. So I don't know if believers in The One really are theists, since it may be that even believers in God aren't really theists. That is, if there isn't a God with qualities you can point a finger toward, what sort of deity are you believing in?


Probably worth rereading my chapter on root canals. http://aubreypub.typepad.com/writing/2004/12/download_diagno.html

There's a new root canal material that some dentists are using that is biocompatiple. This website has some detail. http://www.icnr.com/biologicaldentistry/biologicalrootcanal.html

Brian, that's an excellent question. One rarely asked. (all sorts of puns in that last sentence :-)

"That is, if there isn't a God with qualities you can point a finger toward, what sort of deity are you believing in?"

All I can think in response to this is, excellent question!

I know there's an 'answer' to this question, but I can't quite put my finger on it....or point my finger at it...

Perhaps, to take a leaf,.....MU?

Still, excellent question...

Right, I've got to have a go at answering this one, just to be able to get to sleep! (Sorry about the multiple posts).

This will no doubt sound like complete nonsense, as it no doubt is, but it means something to me;

God IS Mystery.

The mystery that lies hidden and balanced precariously between existence and non-existence, between objectivity and subjectivity, between life and death, between sense and nonsense, between form and nothingness, between love and hate, between order and chaos, between science and faith, between knowledge and ignorance, between nothing and everything, between creation and emptiness etc etc.

Everyone believes that one or the other of these dualisms 'exists', yet they are all contradicitory.

Is there a subtle point that unifies these apparent dualities?

Is God is that Mystery which is balanced subtly between such extremes, and is 'felt' as the universe devouring bliss which is complete unknowingness....which also does not exist?


That's my story anyhow, and I'm sticking with it!

Cool posting! Makes absolutely perfect sense and complete nonsense at the same time, much like life the universe and everything!

I'm not that familiar with your former RSSB group. I'm just curious about some comments that your have made in this discussion and the Top 10 discussion. Does one's karmatic totals prevent them from getting dental checkups, or helping others that are in need of some kind of help. Did the leader of your RSSB group, (Charan?), advise you to avoid such things, because of the karma situation? This is no big deal, just curious to know more details.

Roger, no, we weren't told to avoid dental checkups, or anything else apart from intoxicants, meat-eating, and sex outside of marriage--"commandments" that weren't universally followed by disciples, as is the case with most proscriptions.

In part what I was alluding to was a commonly held attitude, one encouraged by the guru, that everything happening to the disciple was the will of God. Who was considered to be essentially identical with the guru.

It was a rather confused karmic theology, looking back on what I used to believe. Supposedly karma was irrevocable, a spiritual law of nature. Yet the guru could intervene in your karma, much like Christ: "You are forgiven of these sins/karma."

How this happened was never stated. It seems fantastical to me now. And even back then I tilted more toward the belief that karma is just what has to happen, the result of cause and effect.

You get decay in a nerve. You need a tooth canal. Tracing back how I got the decay, the roots (so to speak) of that karma become evident.

The controversial aspect of karma is whether it extends over various lifetimes. Since I'm an agnostic on reincarnation, I'm also an agnostic on that. I'd rather live another life than not live another life. But I don't want my "rathers" to skew my view of reality.

Charan Singh used to say that it isn't possible to know what our karma is. That made sense to me. If you could get outside of karma, of cause and effect, and see it objectively, you'd be in some other realm, not this one.

However, many disciples still would obsess over whether this or that was their karma. I like Meister Eckhart's way of looking at this. He says, if something is happening, that's God's will. Same with karma, in my opinion. It's just cause and effect.

Thanks for your reply. I found it informative and enjoyable. May I ask two more questions? These relate to your former RSSB group days.
1. Was your spiritual meditations an example of a ritual? Likewise, was the use of the mantra, an example of a spiritual ritual? I have nothing against meditation, or a mantra. However, when meditations are used in a spiritual setting, is it in the final analysis a ritual?
2. The concept of The Third Eye. Is the concept of "The 3rd Eye", an example of a spiritual Symbol? The location of the 3rd eye, in the middle of the forehead, between the 2 physical eyes. Is this an example of a "location" symbol?

Again, I have nothing against "Rituals" or "Symbols". I personally find them both Entertaining as well as Unfortunate.

Belief in "God" (whatever that is supposed to mean) is one thing that is probably given more import than it really merits. And it is a belief that is very commonly questioned and often rejected. Belief in the separate sense of self is almost universal and virtually unquestioned. But when it is examined deeply, a mystery arises. One we might choose to call this mystery "God" if one were so inclined. . .

Dear Mr. Cromer,
Please elucidate the "mystery" you are referring to.
Robert Paul Howard


I can give you words about it if you like. But that won't help. That's just food for the conditioned mind to keep it busy in its unconscious identification with the contents of thought. And the conditioned mind is what we will be observing with this exercise. Allowing the assumed subjective sense of self to be seen for what it is, nothing more than a conceptual idea perceived within awareness.

Go deep into the question "Who am I, really?" and stay there until you have the answer that does not change. Allow the thoughts "this is ridiculous and a complete waste of time" or "I already know this" or "what navel-gazing nonsense" or "I'm an evolved biological machine" or whatever other thought concepts arise to float there and just "watch" the thoughts. Sooner or later the process of awareness "watching" itself generates a shift in how everything is seen.

Dear Mr. Cromer,
Thank you for your instructions. Are they not "conditioned"?
Robert Paul Howard

RPH> "Thank you for your instructions. Are they not 'conditioned'?"

"Who" is asking that question?

Awareness entertaining itself asks the question, and for creations sake. Badminton is fun, as is the wu/wei of intellectual dismissal. Sculpture is fun and creative, a wu/wei of the material.

The RHP that you are asks. The special effects are astounding, no?

Any girlfriends from the ninties? I'm still single. HaHa.....just kidding. It's getting kinda thick in here. A good chuckle is in order.

Dear Mr. Cromer,
I am identified as "Robert Paul Howard" - the name I was (to all seeming appearances) given at my "birth in this world." I know that I exist - and that I both ask and (when I can) answer questions. On occasion I may even give instructions.
"Answering" a question with a question in return is not always truly giving an answer - particularly from someone/(thing) that I'm not sure to actually exist. But such does try to avoid the giving of an answer - and thus pretend to simply be the spiritual superior of the one who has to ask (like myself). Even if I am ignorant and lacking in such spiritual prowess, I know I'm really here. I can only infer the reality of all you others.
Robert Paul Howard


When the awareness within you tires of the game of looking for evidence of egotism and a sense of superiority in supposed "others", try following the instructions I posted previously.

You may find this helpful as well:


Take care

Robert et. al.,

This might also be very helpful for seeing the self in a different light:


Well, Matthew, here's the rub: Felipe writes that language has a non-correlate relationship with truth, and then stipulates that ""I am", period. No need to think, say or seek it."

Though meaning in language represents agreed-upon and not absolute truth, communication requires discrete nodes for meaning differentiation. We are all more or less capable of holding two concepts simultaneously: (1)there is no real separation in unitary existence; and (2)I would like to talk to you about (1).

No real separation also means that theory must match practice: the awareness is the awareness, and my blindspots are your very own.

Ralph's new (future?) girlfriend dictates this to me telepathically.

Dear Mr. Cromer,
Thank you for the two reference sites you indicated. They helped elucidate your proclaimed advaita "mystery" much better than did your question in response to my question.
Robert Paul Howard

"No real separation also means that theory must match practice: the awareness is the awareness, and my blindspots are your very own."


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