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December 13, 2020


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You’ll have to post a link to the podcast when it airs.

There’s a reason Buddhist monks were so obsessed with mountains. To live on such a remote and nearly impossible to reach mountain top forces one to focus on the journey of ascending.

Taung Kalat temple is on my bucket list.
Not just because it’s beautiful but because I want to see if I can climb the 777 steps that lead to the doors of the temple all in one go. The temple sits atop a 557-foot-high volcanic plug in central Myanmar.

Five years ago I hiked from St. Jean Pier de Port to Roncevalles in 12 hours on day 1 of the Camino Trail. By the time I reached the top I was literally hallucinating (that’s why locals recommend breaking up that leg of the trail into a two day journey). The hallucinations resulted from a combination of rapid altitude ascent, over exertion and dehydration. Very Dr. Seussy. Disturbingly so. I was quite enjoying the feeling of weightlessness and the stunning visual enhancement of colors until signs started bending. Literally. That was a tell tale sign to sit down and stop moving.

The gods gave us magic mushrooms, peyote and mountains and all we give them are stone statues. Sad.

Now from Buddhism to Atheism... (I don’t think we talk enough about atheism on this site).

Perhaps you’ve read ‘Seven Types of Atheism’ by John Gray? I like to call it ‘Seven Types of Gray’. Vice magazine interviewed John Gray and he made an interesting remark when asked about the 7th type of atheist:

You finish with the mystical kind of atheism. It sounds almost like people who have a big drug experience and talk about the oneness of everything.

Well, it's a radical kind of atheism that asserts that the nature of reality is ineffable—it can’t be embodied in words. Schopenhauer thought the ultimate reality of things was spiritual, but we couldn’t really grasp it with our reasoning. He didn’t have any need for a creator God, but actually, he isn’t so far from certain traditions in mysticism and different religions. Some types of mystical religion come close to atheism in their understanding of God as unimaginable.

Interesting 🤔

‘Seven Shades of Atheism’ won the Catholic Herald Book Award for Religion and Theology, BTW.

'When you explore older atheisms, you will find some of your firmest convictions - secular or religious - are highly questionable. If this prospect disturbs you, what you are looking for may be freedom from thought.' —John Gray

**'Seven Types of Atheism’ won the Catholic Herald Book Award, not Seven Shades...

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." --Arthur Schopenhauer

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