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November 20, 2009

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Hi Brain, this post goes so much with the thoughts I am having offlate. I have been a firm believer in RadhaSoami Faith (Beas) for a long time now (I was 15 yrs old when I was introduced to the path) and I am not an Initiate. Last couple of years, I started having my share or doubts. Finally I am out of it and I have been thinking the same offlate, after all there might not be a god and there might not be a real meaning to life whatsoever and I should just take life as it comes and live life with a Passion (or whatever makes me happy).

PS: Your blog and the fact that you were the author of "Life is Fair" really helped me in thinking clearly about Radhasoami faith and getting out of it

"Finally I am out of it and I have been thinking the same offlate, after all there might not be a god and there might not be a real meaning to life whatsoever and I should just take life as it comes and live life with a Passion (or whatever makes me happy)."

---Where does one go when one is "out" of it? Am I thinking when I am out of it? If there is not a "real" meaning of life, then could someone tell me the "non-real" meaning of life? So, I need to have Passion in whatever makes "me" happy? All this Passion may allow me to not be concerned with other person's happiness. Which I guess is ok. I just need to get out of it.

Madhu, congratulations. You haven't given up on a search for truth. You've simply opened yourself up to wider possibilities about where truth resides.

Nobody knows for sure what the ultimate truth of the cosmos is (or even if the human conception of "truth" makes sense when used in this sense).

So rigidly following a single religious, philosophical, or spiritual path when it isn't known whether that path leads to where you want to go isn't wise.

Being open to evidence, and messages from your own intuition, is a better way to live. A path, or paths, still can be followed. But not slavishly or with blind belief. Rather, with eyes wide open to all sorts of possibilities.

Roger, I don't find that passion is connected in any way with selfishness. Someone's passion -- what makes them happy -- could be helping other people (in fact, this is commonplace).

Don't you think that giving, unselfish people almost always get a lot of satisfaction from their charity? They're doing what makes them happy, so in a sense their unselfishness is selfish.

When Madhu said "get out of it," I took this to mean out of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas philosophy/organization. Not out of life, or of caring about other people.

Roger when I said "get out of it", as Brain said its not just Radha Soami Satsang Beas philosophy but also a rigid way of looking at religion, god, infact everything in life. For almost 14 years I am used to looking at every small incident and event in life through the Prism of RSSB, now that I am out of this way of thinking, I find life much more interesting and feel like bird out of a cage.
I do believe that, "Every Unselfish act is out of selfishness to pursue peace or happiness or find satisfaction.” I said I want to live life with a Passion because to me “passion” is intense involvement of my mind in something I find happiness or calmness. I believe thats the only way to stop my mind in trying to find a meaning in everything I do, or meaning of life. I believe that everyone needs a reason (family, relationships, career, god realization etc..) or a passion to live. The reason varies depending on the individual. I think I am kind of tried of thinking if there is a meaning to life or “Should there be a meaning to life”, so I want to pursue a new direction to just let it go and see what life has to offer me as it goes by.
I am an introvert and usually never speak out, this is the first time I ever commented on a blog, so my expression might not be clear. I hope my expression is understandable.

Madhu, you've expressed yourself well. I feel the same way. Here's some of my thoughts about living life with passion:
http://hinessight.blogs.com/church_of_the_churchless/2009/05/follow-your-passion-wherever-it-leads.html

The story of Kal does sound strange and difficult to understand. Especially considering we satsangis find it difficult performing the “austerity” of sitting in meditation for a few paltry years or even one lifetime!

I read in Spiritual Gems (p.20) that Kal also acknowledges Akal (the supreme creator) as his master. He (Kal) performed great austerities by standing on one leg for seventy yugas (great cycles of time) and thus worshipped Akal for seventy yugas. It was in return for this that he was given this kingdom of Triloki (three worlds) to rule. (Soami Ji said about Kal that when he asked for the boon, he said: “This kingdom of Sat Purush does not appeal to me. Permit me, Sir, to create another world over which I may rule”)

Quite disturbing to think about who we are being ruled by!

So, for those wannabe gurus who fancy having their own creation to rule over be prepared to do one huge amount of “austerities” and “worship”, lol

There are signs of God everywhere. Look at an eyeball. Look at an ant and the colonies they live in. Look at dna....the life cycle...that didn't all just happen. That was all created by God. If you doubt this I would ask you to come up with a better explanation. It had to come from an omnipotent being and it had to come from something that has always been there Time could not begin as it would need to have a place to start. God is the only explanation. It's not rational but we're only human and can't rationalize the beginning of time. It's unexplainable except to say time has no beginning or end. God has alway been there. God is only a name that we have given to this omnipitent and omnipresent being. To say He doesn't exist is foolish. As a side note, the big bang makes less sense since it ignores the question of when the infinite mass of infinite density began to exist and where did it come from. It's less rational then God being "from everlasting to everlasting". "http://bible.org/seriespage/everlasting-everlasting" covers that topic in more detail.

I hope you find the truth you are searching for and be thankful to God for providing us all with the opportunity to have exciting and fulfilling lives as we help eachother out along the way.

God Bless You!

Jeff,

There are signs of ignorance of the Bible everywhere. Look at the retina and the optic nerve and the visual cortex. Look at the DNA...the Bible is absolutely ignorant about these. They are found by human scientific quest. When somebody claims that such an ignorant book can tell us absolutely reliable information about God, should we believe? Can such an ignorant book inspired by God?

"we're only human and can't rationalize..."
"God has alway been there...omnipitent and omnipresent being."

Yes, we are only human, how can you rationalize God as "always been there," "omnipotent," and "omnipresent"? If you are not a human, pardon me (and please let me know what is you, thank you).

I am human, mere human, I have no choice but be humble. I am human, limited human. I know nothing about God. That is all I know about God. Period.

Brian,

I take most things you say to be accurate. However, i am struggling with one thing i would like to get a different perspective on.

Some people seem to get spontaneous automatic yoga movements, ranging from full blown postures to mudras and bandhas. I haven't found a satisfactory explanation for this phenomenon. Do you have any insight into this?


I agree with Choi here. I don't know God, i don't know what God is, and people that claim to know are, in my opinion, claiming to know more than they possibly can. What is God, for example? It seems to be anything and everything, which makes it a very vague and illusive thing.

If one assumes science is the understanding of the observable universe, then we can safely state that science is far from complete. Human understanding is that ability to model the observed in such a way that we can use logic, rationality in the form of mathematics such that we can measure and predict outcomes observable in the physical world. Science has huge gaps in its knowledge, and this on one hand is exciting to scientists - still so much to learn) and provides a space for religious types to squeeze god into the gaps.
But it is as much an assumption to assume the gaps in knowledge can be filled with scientific understanding as it is to assume that proof of God exists in these gaps. Assumptions are not proof, and definitely non-scientific
Just as we can conclude that so far, there is no evidence of God, we should also conclude that science also does not know everything and that in the same way that science still has much to discover, the possibility exists that evidence of some God may also come to our attention.

b-open, anything is possible. But not everything possible is real.
So until there is evidence of God, there isn't evidence of God. Pretty simple.

It's possible that a herd of elephants could appear in our rural Oregon yard rather than the usual deer.

But I don't center my life around waiting for elephants to appear, though religious believers do center their lives around waiting for Jesus, nirvana, Allah, God, or some other possible but non-existent manifestation of divinity to appear.

We should be open to possibilities. But more open to what is real. Otherwise we aren't living life, but a possible life.

There is no connection between a herd of elephants and the huge unknowns and the yet to be understood
For example, science had built strongly upon the results of the Michelson Morley experiments of late 19th century, convinced that aether does not exist. Recent work, replicated by simple and cheap interferometers show the results of MM were wrong.
you could argue that the beauty of science is that it adapts and corrects as new findings are accepted, but the rub is that science is man made, and suffers from mans ego, acceptance of such fundamental errors are not easily accepted, today we have same attitude as acceptance that the sun does not go around the earth.

If science was free from mans ego, I would be more accepting of its published findings

b-open, how would science not be man-made? And who doesn't have an ego? Are you saying that science should be god-made? Are you claiming that some people have egos and some don't?

Also, what is this "ego" you speak about? How would I know whether a scientist has one, or whether he/she doesn't have one?

Does religion adapt and correct as new findings are accepted? I'd say that science does a much better job at this than religion does. So apparently scientists have less of an ego that religious believers, by your argument.

You use the term ego freely in your first sentence, then claim not to know what it is in your next sentence
Ego is a sense of self importance, therefore human contributors to science can overlay the scientific model of reality with their personal agendas. This may take the form of rejection of new findings because it treads upon the toes of other vested interests, or in the form of adjustment of results in order to impart the impression of self importance.
Science is man made, it is mans model of the non-man made universe, therefore represents our understanding of the non-man made. Science is therefore at best mans limited understanding of the much greater reality. consequently we can legitimately state that science does not recognise a supreme creator, by which science implies intelligence, not energy or power or force. Enormous forces almost beyond our comprehension are currently in within our limited horizon of understanding, but some supreme intelligence is not. But then again, science is having problem recognising other intelligence other than human

b-open,
your argument is irrational nonsense and without substance. its hard to see what if anyting it is that you are trying to say. actually, i think you are just playing word/concept games and 'beating around the bush'. so if you have a point, then spit it out. otherwise, cut the crap.


Brians logic
Science is proven, we use it every day
Science cannot find God, does not even recognise God
Therefore God does not exist.

I agree with Brian, this is crap

b-open, it isn't my logic. It's just logic. Correct logic.

Science isn't saying that God doesn't exist. Nor do I. Science says there is no evidence of God. Thus we can't conclude that God exists.

That's all.

Something may exist even if there is no demonstrable evidence of it. That evidence may appear in the future, just as elephants may appear in my yard one day.

But until the evidence is evident, truth-seekers and reality-seekers won't accept the existence of something on blind faith/belief.

You're welcome to your beliefs about God. But that's all they are: beliefs. Myself, I prefer my reality to be real.

Jeff, the cosmos could have always existed. That's a simpler explanation than assuming that God has already existed, and God created the cosmos. If something has to always exist, why not the physical universe that we see, rather than God, whom we can't see.

Further, evolution through natural selection is a great explanation for how life has come to be as it is. True, science doesn't yet have a good answer for how life itself came to be, but neither does religion. And science has more believable hypotheses.

David, i'm not sure what you mean by spontaneous yoga movements. Are you saying that some people don't know yoga, and supposedly have never seen someone doing yoga, yet they are able to place their bodies into yoga postures?

If so, that's interesting. But I don't know what it shows. Movement is movement. Often in my Tai Chi class, I'll hear my instructor say something that my ballroom dance instructor said. Or, very similar.

But my dance instructor doesn't know Tai Chi. She knows how to move her body though, and correct body movement principles are pretty much the same across different disciplines or styles.

Or these people might have seen yoga performed at some time but have forgotten that they did. And I guess it is possible that they were yogis in a past life. That seems to be the least likely possibility, however.

b-open, science doesn't have trouble recognizing intelligence that is other than human. Animals and other forms of non-human life clearly possess intelligence and awareness.

But perhaps you are referring to a non-material intelligence, an intelligence existing outside of the physical universe. If so, what is the evidence this intelligence exists?

We can no more know that god does or does not exist than that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. What we know is what we observe but that may not be all that is.

We know that we are made up of atoms which we cannot see but now we can observe through scientific tools. If we depended on our own observation, we'd not know that. If we had depended on science of the past, we'd also not know it. We do not know that someday something new will let us observe the creative power behind this universe.

What we do know is that nothing comes from nothing and yet somehow, somewhere, something did; so right there we know our powers of deduction do not prove everything.

We also do not know what the purpose of this creation was, if there was a purpose. You ask for a proof, a design that shows something and maybe it exists but we don't know how to interpret it; just as more life might exist in this universe; but we cannot find it with what we currently have for abilities.

To me we should just leave it mystery without a need to prove it one way or the other. What makes man, including you, be unable to do that. Perhaps there is a god or gods, a creative mind behind all of this. Perhaps there is not but saying it won't make it so either way. You want god to operate by your set or rules, do it how you think it should be done, but perhaps there is a god operating on a totally different plane that no religion has touched upon. I don't know that but I don't know it's not so either. Nobody does no matter what they want to think, not atheist nor believer.

The narrative of science is that we are naught but clods of dirt.

Sure, all those rich and varied perceptions of personal existence seem so real and convincing, and it's true that they are utterly resistant to the kinds of direct external observation and measurement that constitute the fundamental basis of empirical materialist science.

Nevertheless, we are told, in so many words, that we are naught but lumps of dead matter having a transient hallucination that it really isn't.

Odd story, that.


"We can no more know that god does or does not exist than that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe."

...how do you know that you can not know?

"we do know is that nothing comes from nothing and yet somehow, somewhere, something did"

...are you sure? how do you know that?

"we know our powers of deduction do not prove everything."

...how do you know that? what makes you so sure?

"what the purpose of this creation was, if there was a purpose."

...why does there need to be a purpose?

"a design that shows something and maybe it exists but we don't know how to interpret it"

...how do you know that someone doesn't know how to interpret it?

"more life might exist in this universe; but we cannot find it with what we currently have for abilities."

...how do you know that it cannot be found? how do you know that it has not already been found? how do you know any of this?

"we should just leave it mystery without a need to prove it one way or the other. What makes man, including you, be unable to do that."

...why leave it remain in mystery? why not progress? why not? what makes you unable to be open and want to progress?

"Perhaps there is a god or gods"
"Perhaps there is not but saying it won't make it so"
"perhaps there is a god operating on a totally different plane"

...perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

"You want god to operate by your set or rules, do it how you think it should be done"

...what god? what are you talking about? where is this god? where are these rules?

"I don't know that but I don't know"

...right, you don't know.

"Nobody does no matter what"

...you don't know that. you don't know what other people do or do not know, can or can not know.


Late comment to earlier response by Brian - quote

"Science isn't saying that God doesn't exist. Nor do I. Science says there is no evidence of God. Thus we can't conclude that God exists."

We accept Newtons law that a body will move in a straight line until some force acts upon it, yet, I ask, where is there any evidence of a body moving in a straight line? The entire universe moves, non of the objects move in a straight line.

OK, you can argue that all bodies in the Universe have forces acting upon them, but this amounts to a fundamental scientific fact being accepted on basis of no evidence. This is rather like saying, God exists everywhere, but his form is unobservable.

Science will accept Newtons law despite there being no evidence, and even lay it down as a fundamental law of science.

In response to 1%
Nothing comes from nothing is another way of stating "energy cannot be created nor destroyed" which is accepted scientific knowledge (energy and matter equivalence according to Einstein)

There is knowledge that is accepted by science, but, as you point out, we cannot say that it is known, there may be someone, somewhere who knows, but has not made it public.
But this is not an helpful response, surely we can only discuss what is known, and not spend time on what might be known.

Yep, i think your last paragraph is very accurate, which is what powers or knowledge does this union with god bring?

These religions all seem to require earthly devotion to enter into the kingdom of god in the hereafter, but more then that, even those who are not marked, cannot supposedly enter, regardless of what devotion and purity they might committ too.

This seems ridiculous.

There may be a god, but all this theology i cannot buy into, its just manmade religious bumf. Perhaps if there is a god this earthly realm has been setup as a test, but even then why would an all-powerful god play such a game, why torture even those who deserve it, and especially those who dont?

Brian, yes i am saying that there are people who apparently seem to perform different yoga postures automatically independently from their own will.

It has been linked to kundalini, not kundalini per se, but a manifestation of related "pranic" energies.

Another closely related thing is mudras and bandhas. For example, touching the tip of the index finger and thumb together. This has even happened to me, among a couple of other things. I had no independent will in the matter except that i could terminate the meditation whenever i liked.

I suggest you look through the AYP forums (aypsite.org) for people's personal experiences of automatic yoga.

I don't understand this phenomena. I don't buy the idea that it is from a past life, which seems to be a very simple explanation that explains very little. I did think it could be a product of self-hypnosis but i discounted that as an explanation because i have an almost non-existent hypnotic threshold and i cannot bring myself to distrust certain individuals who have nothing to prove by explaining their personal yoga experiences.

The God debate is useless in my opinion. We should be trying to understand the personal experiences people have in certain states of mind and body instead of conveniently placing them in the "anecdotal therefore worthless" category. It is the only means, as far as i can tell, that would produce any kind of scientific approach to the whole debate. EVerything else, theology, religion, mysticism, biased and unbased opinions like, "i feel jesus in my heart" and so on, are not the type of things that can be studied with anything approaching a scientific methodology.

For me, this is the crux of the matter: we should be rightly careful to trust in a person's spiritual beliefs but we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater where any potential reality can be found in personal experiences. Let's face it, everybody's experience is anecdotal, has been since history began, and the sheer volumes of data collected on anomalous experience (including any kind of psychic phenomena) gives some heavy weight and pulls a strong punch for taking certain claims seriously. There is no need to invoke "God" at all, really.

David, you make some good points. For sure, there's a lot to learn about the mind, brain, and human potential. Like you said, many (if not all) "mystical" experiences likely will be found to be natural phenomena, albeit reflective of unknown or poorly understood capabilities of the mind/brain.

%, I would say we do 'know' certain things based on science which could change tomorrow and we won't 'know' them; but we have to operate on what we can know today. It's why we get into a car to drive somewhere not knowing for sure we won't get killed on the way there. We work with the current knowledge which is most of us will make it to do our shopping and get back home but we cannot know it. Talking to you about this further though would be a total waste of time. What we do or do not know about god or not god may well change with future discoveries and that was my only point. We have to operate where we are, assuming we don't want to sit in a cave, and using the word know doesn't worry me knowing it could change in the future for what is known. It's clear to me though that any conversation with you about it would end up going in circles which would gain neither of us anything. Probably what I said made no sense to you and what you said certainly made none to me.

Brian, i don't just mean that the mind and body unknowns are natural (insert latin here). But that indeed there is a psychi mechanism that involves REM sleep that seems to catch pictures and data from the future that hasn't happened according to planet time, and that these phenomena are labelled deja vu (to pooh pooh and wave it away) or coincidence, when it fact it happens in reality to almost everybody. THis one thing bothers me. I don't want to extend it to matters of God concepts. But it is inescapable for me to conceed to any skeptical or atheistic viewpoint in complete agreement unless these two issues are explained scientifically satisfactorily.

David, if people really can get signals from the future this should be easy to test: document a prediction and see if it happens.

For example...I've got a bet on the OSU - U. of Oregon December 3 football game that will determine a Rose Bowl berth. I'm betting on the U. of O. The guy who favors Oregon State wants the point spread included in the bet, since Oregon is ranked higher and is playing at home.

If you can let me know what the final score will be, that'll help my bet negotiating considerably.

If "deja vu" is a real phenomenon, why isn't proof of peoples' ability to predict future events in evidence? Or is the insight into the future so brief, like something that will happen in the next moment, that no evidence can be found? If so, how is it possible to prove that this is a real psychic phenomenon, and not just a brain glitch in time processing? (as seems more likely)

You are asking me questions you could find the answers to by a google search like, "scientific explanations of precognition". I guarantee you won't find any satisfactory explanations once you read the abundant testimonials out there.

You used an example of something you wanted me or someone else to predict for you as if precognition was something that occured amongst people who have no relationship or connection. It doesn't work that way.

And yes, if it occurs in quicker times than more general times, that doesn't mean it didn't happen. You have already proven to me the existence of this phenomena by alluding to parts of it that occur, and i suspect occur to everybody. Except you prefer to make that experience a mundane memory glitch. It is more than that.

I have nothing further to say. You either admit that precognition exists or you don't, and you need to answer the phenomena of automatic yoga before i will consider responding.

"You'd think that an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and/or omnibenevolent being would leave some evident trace, given all this omni'ness."

--What was there BEFORE this so called big bang when the physical universe appeared and if THAT existed before, then where has IT gone now, has it just disappeared? Why should IT not still exist?

Doesn’t make sense… some form of energy, some form of consciousness must have existed before THIS physical universe happened and THIS is the evident trace of IT.

Jen, you're assuming that the physical cosmos didn't exist before the big bang. That's an assumption, not a fact.

The universe could have "banged" after a big bounce, as Hindu cosmologies speak about. Expansion, then contraction, then expansion...eternally.

Or our universe could have come into being as a "bubble" bursting out of cosmic foam, which is a current scientific hypothesis. Namely, that countless other universes in addition to ours exist. Baby universes are born by mother universes.

So it is entirely possible (I'd say, entirely likely) that the physical cosmos has always existed. Which means the answer to what existed before the big bang is...what exists now. Physical matter and energy.

Rain,
i asked several questions which you have neglected to answer. instead, you evade the entire issue (which you brought up btw), by saying my comment and questions don't make sense. so i will repeat them for you again:


how do you know that one can not know?

how do you know that something came from nothing?

how do you know that powers of deduction do not prove everything?

what makes you so sure?

why does there need to be a purpose of creation?

how do you know that someone doesn't know how to interpret things?

how do you know that we cannot find life in the universe with what we currently have for abilities?

how do you know that it has not already been found?

how do you know god exists?

how do you know any of these things?

why leave things to remain in mystery?

why not seek to progress in knowledge?

what makes you unable to be open and want to progress in knowledge?

what do you mean by "operate by set of rules", or "do it how you think it should be done"?

who said that?

where is this god that you speak of?

and where are these rules?

how can you say that nobody knows?

how do you know what other people do or do not know, or what they can or can not know?

why do you feel talking about this further "would be a total waste of time"?

then why even bother to comment?


Jen,

imo your argument is valid and its something I do not believe science has adequately answered.

Some scientists believe this is however the wrong question to ask. They might argue that our minds are conditioned to operate on an earthly scale which perceives in a causal or time-linear sense, but that the universe might be stranger than this and thus what we can imagine. So they say asking what came before the big bang is like asking what is north of the north pole. That perhaps space-time curves in on itself and that perhaps the expansion and collapse of the universe plays out repeatedly over history and that it is only the universe which has always existed - but they seem to disagree over alot of this and there is no real evidence one way or the other.

But I tend to agree with you, these answers are not satisfying. Your questions do not prove the existence of god, but i too would like a better explanation of what ignited the big bang or how a system operates without having a creator or prime mover effect or how the infinte singulaity arose in the first place and an explanation of the mechanism of expansion and then contraction if the big bounce theory is to become science?

Tho it must also be said that science takes us beyond our senses, and often against our conditioned imagination also.

Quantum unpredictability or even the wave-like nature of light, are counter-intuituve phenomena beyond our conditioned perceptions, and yet science has adduced their accuracy.

So perhaps science is still the best way to proceed, since it at least aspires to follow the evidence irrespective of intuitions or conditioned minds prone to errors.

Humans historically turn to metaphysical or religious expanations were no others exist. I don't see the harm provided they are recognized for what they are - speculative beliefs; and not confused with accepted science which offers evidence up for all to inspect in support of its truth.

%, I didn't even read all your questions nor am I going to this time. You were not looking for my answers though. You were looking to prove I don't know anything and I didn't see how you and I would ever communicate with each other when you start out with that viewpoint.

For the record, I 'know' what I myself have observed and what I have been taught has been scientifically proven up to now. I 'know' that often what is proven today will be unproven tomorrow. My own experiences will still be mine but I might interpret them differently with time.

For now we 'know' that in the universe life is always regenerating into new forms and while the new form may seem to come from 'nothing', it comes from elements that had to be there for it to happen. They would look like nothing to the naked eye, but to scientific instrumentation, they are building blocks for something.

What we also 'know' is that it's not possible for that to be the end of the story because if everything comes from something, and yet it's here today then at some point something (god or universe) had to come out of nothing. That we cannot prove but we can deduct based on a logical pattern of thinking that has proven to work for other things.

The reason I have felt further debate would be a waste of both our times is that you are making some assumptions that I don't think anything I said made. I don't assume there is a god. I don't know and am okay to leave it that way. Using my logic, there is no god like religion teaches about, but that does not mean there is not a creative mind behind all of this which no religion has understood or even perhaps who cares nothing about what we do and has gone onto other creations of more interest. Is that a force with no personality or one with it? I don't know and don't know how anybody would know. Could there have been a creative entity behind it all who no longer exists? How would we know?

All I was saying is that what we 'know' today may not be 'known' tomorrow. Science changes what is known by new advances. What we see and observe may have no validity for determining what is.

Further my personal experiences in the spiritual realm (and I have some) are of no interest to anyone who is attempting some kind of scientific experiment to prove what is or is not based on what they currently know.

To me, the person who knows it all based on today and refuses to look at new data as it comes along is a fundamentalist whatever religion they are using. But to operate as though we can know nothing would leave us in that cave and unable to function period. We operate as though we know with the things we can know, all the time observing what is around us for potential changes. Being a rancher's wife, I operate that way all the time in my real world or we'd be out of business.

oh and what we can know about intelligent life elsewhere, I do not know it. Just know it has been speculated about but has yet to be proven. Whether we are being visited for example by beings from elsewhere, I see no proof for it but wouldn't try to say I know it is not happening. It's in the realm of speculation though for me and not science-- unless science has been lying about it which is always possible...

Rain, I had the same feeling about 1%'s questions as you did: that the goal was to win a comment conversation, not to have a comment conversation. There's a big difference between "winning" and "having."

This is common on the Internet, as you know from your own blogging experience. Some people don't really want to learn more about someone else' views; they just want to win an argument.

I can be prone to that myself at times. But I try to stand firm in my own viewpoint while being open to the possibility that my mind could be changed. And that, I think, is pretty much what you were trying to say about science and our current state of scientific knowledge.

And, science is not absolute really. The virtue of science is that it is open to change, but that doesn't equal knowledge.

All % did was incite an argument. I sympathise with Rain.

Rain:
"You were not looking for my answers though. You were looking to prove I don't know anything"

that is wrong. my questions were sincere as they were stated.

"when you start out with that viewpoint"

no, you do not know what my viewpoint is, as i have not expressed it yet. i only asked you some questions so that i could better understand your viewpoint.

"it's not possible for that to be the end of the story because if everything comes from something, and yet it's here today then at some point something (god or universe) had to come out of nothing."

what you are saying here does not make much, if any sense to me.

"you are making some assumptions that I don't think anything I said made. I don't assume there is a god."

thats not what you said. on several occasions, you stated "god". that means you are assuming there is a god. if you like, i will post quotations of your statements where you stated "god".

"there is no god like religion teaches about, but that does not mean there is not a creative mind behind all of this which no religion has understood"

you only said "god", you did not say "religion". and religion was/is not the issue imo. the question is, is there "god".

"All I was saying is that what we 'know' today may not be 'known' tomorrow. Science changes what is known by new advances."

i have no arguement with that.

"What we see and observe may have no validity for determining what is."

i don't agree with that. what is observed is definitely a factor.

"my personal experiences in the spiritual realm (and I have some) are of no interest to anyone who is attempting some kind of scientific experiment to prove what is or is not"

i didn't say that it is of interest. you are offering much more information than was requested in the questions that i asked. yet you won't just answer those questions. that is strange imo.

"To me, the person who knows it all based on today and refuses to look at new data as it comes along is a fundamentalist whatever religion they are using."

i also don't disagree with this. but then this issue was not my concern.


Blogger Brian:
"I had the same feeling about 1%'s questions as you did: that the goal was to win a comment conversation, not to have a comment conversation."

well then, you are wrong. my questions were only an attempt to gain a better understanding of Rain's point of view.

"Some people don't really want to learn more about someone else' views; they just want to win an argument."

there was no argument to win for me. maybe thats the way it is for you, but not for me. i aked my questions because i wanted to get a better understanding, not to win any argument.


David:
"All % did was incite an argument. I sympathise with Rain."

there was no "incite an arguement". i only asked questions. questions are not argument. but it sounds to me like you want to have an argument.

i think all three of you (rain, blogger brian, and david) are each drawing wrong conclusions and then over reacting. why do have a problem with some simple questions? is asking questions for clarification not acceptable here? thats strange too, imo. i guess i will leave you to your conditional discussions. sorry to bother you with my questions. have a nice day.


Brian, you say: “you're assuming that the physical cosmos didn't exist before the big bang. That's an assumption, not a fact”.

--I agree this is an assumption.

You then say: “The universe could have "banged" after a big bounce”… and … “Expansion, then contraction, then expansion...eternally”.

Also, the “bubble” theory, a “current scientific hypothesis”, and you find it “entirely possible (I'd say, entirely likely) that the physical cosmos has always existed. Which means the answer to what existed before the big bang is...what exists now. Physical matter and energy.”

--I can understand these theories and hypotheses (assumptions?) about the physical universe. What I have trouble with is accepting that this is all there is - “physical matter and energy”.

--Having had some paranormal experiences, I still feel there is more to this physical reality, that there are other planes of existence where we can experience life in a less physical and in more of a finer energy body and I think we can experience these other planes before we leave the body at death.

Just my thoughts in my ongoing quest…

Cheers

On the 150th anniversary of my revolutionary book "The Origens of Species" I want to remind all you atheists and agnostics that I believed God created first life on Earth, hence the closing line of OoS states "There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." You see, that's what intelligent design is really all about!

Charles Darwin, you use Darwin's name, but obscure his agnosticism. Read his autobiography:
http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/library/cd_relig.htm

"I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble to us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."

"The old argument of design in nature, as given by Paley, which formerly seemed to me so conclusive, fails, now that the law of natural selection has been discovered. We can no longer argue that, for instance, the beautiful hinge of a bivalve shell must have been made by an intelligent being, like the hinge of a door by man. There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings and in the action of natural selection, than in the course the wind blows. Everything in nature is the result of fixed laws."

I also agree with Brian, Jen, that the physical cosmos did not exist before the creation of the universe. Physcial cosmos can not exist before the creation. There was only energy i.e Current of Consiousness or Gravitation Force. Source of Consciousness or Gravitation Force is God.


My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
HE told me, "Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho" (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith
Since I don't have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of 'Infinite' but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.

"Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab."

---Probably was one his "most" beloved disciples. I feel kinda bad for the remaining "lesser" beloved disciples. Then the dreaded "least" beloved ones, oh to be at the bottom of the beloved ones list.

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi, its high time that you wake-up out of this narcissistic dream you are stuck in, as well as your attachment and belief in the myth of a past-life.


I have no attachment for the past life whatsoever. What I am today is important. If it is of some worth it's O.K.

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi,

Thats BS. You are hypocrite.

You say "I have no attachment for the past life whatsoever", and yet, several of your own statements in your previous comment are much to the contrary:

The following were written and posted by Anirudh Kumar Satsangi on December 27, 2009 at 02:51 AM:

"My most Revered Guru of my previous life"

"During my previous birth"

"I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age."

"that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled"

All of these statements above indicate that you DO in fact believe in a past-life. and so therefore that shows attachment to past life as a belief in past life.


Perhaps you have lost the power of reasoning and logic. You don't know the use of language in descent ways. If I say I have no attachment to past life then it is true. If my past life story is correct, even then my present is more exciting than past. So I have no need for attachment in the previos birth, whatsoever.

anirudh kumar satsangi,

you are the one who is bereft of reaoning and logic. and you are the one who also has a poor use of language. apparently english is not your primary language, because you don't understand simple concepts expressed in english, such as the relationship between attachment and your beliefs.

re "attachment": the very fact that you believe in a past life and past lives (which you have clearly admitted), is itself a form of attachment. belief is attachment. but you don't understand that, so you can't see that. you also have a problem with language and definitions.

all of you satsangis should go elsewhere to preach your sant mat dogma. it doesn't belong here. this is not a site to preach about sant mat.


Mr. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi, is an Idiot. Internet is full of his copy-paste material in all blogs. He believes that he’s a real genius and debates around with people.

He thinks he is wiser than Newton, Einstein and Stephen Hawkings, bigger than any religion. He keeps commenting even when no one is listening to him.

May GOD show mercy on him and grant him Wisdom!

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